For something that is supposedly central to the government’s efforts to support the economy in the wake of the crisis caused by the Covid-19 outbreak and the national lockdown, it got relatively little attention in the government’s latest blueprints.

In his medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) on October 28, finance minister Tito Mboweni didn’t give it more than one sentence. Unveiling his long-awaited economic recovery plan earlier in the month, President Cyril Ramaphosa mentioned it almost in passing. And the loan guarantee scheme is supposed to be the centrepiece of the government’s Covid relief plan...

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