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Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago’s announcement of a 50-basis-point increase to the repo rate did not come as a surprise. Rather, it is a warning sign for owners of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to act now before the cumulative effect of this — and the next — interest rate hike, inflation, petrol price increases and electricity woes all but undo any rebound they’ve enjoyed since the lifting of most Covid-19 restrictions.

Make no mistake about it, while SMEs are not sexy enough for our government to go the extra mile for them, they are the heartbeat of this and just about every other economy. Unless they act now, taking lessons learnt during the pandemic to bolster the SME sector, we may just find ourselves heading towards a failed economy...

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