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It should now be much easier for businesses to borrow from banks in terms of the Covid-19 guaranteed bank loan scheme, thanks to changes made last week. But this depends on whether banks play their part in pushing R200bn of loans into the economy.

The scheme has been a disappointment so far — according to most recent figures, just R11.7bn has been lent and the growth rate was slowing. The scheme is a big part of the president’s R500bn economic relief package. Now, the conditions on which loans will be granted, as well as the credit assessments banks must undertake, have been loosened. Banks have been given discretion to apply liberal credit criteria...

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