Executive Summary

The period covered by this review (2008-2013) was characterised by considerably difficult economic conditions, with generally subdued overall growth performance, high lending rates, falling business and consumer confidence resulting in slowing demand and weakened capacity utilisation in the private sector. Business bankruptcies soared and the ease of doing business, as measured by the World Bank1, deteriorated. These tough trading conditions undoubtedly have impacted the business prospects and performance of SMMEs.

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