Author(s): Germinah E. Chiloane-Phetla and Rajabalala E. Mathipa
Purpose: This article attempts to source for the arguments and views of the entrepreneurs who are the brains behind the SMEs to understand the challenges faced by the Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) arising from the present Covi-19 pandemic. Design/methodology/approach: This article uses a conceptual analysis strategy as a research method and tool to interrogate various documents which are relevant to this discourse. Findings: The paper confirms that the Covid-19 pandemic has created a highly contaminated environment in which SMEs can no longer thrive without being financially assisted. Conversely, the existing regulations and rules in South Africa were done in poor consultation with the SMEs and hence are failing to have their buy-in. This approach ultimately missed out the targeted SMEs because a huge percentage of SMEs in South Africa are still underdeveloped with ostensible need to be empowered in skills, knowledge and finances. Research limitations/implications: While the findings of this article are persuasive they cannot be readily generalised because the core key focus was SMEs within the borders of SA. Clearly, the situation, conditions and circumstances of individual countries differ and some do so radically and as such it will not be wise to generalise. Besides, an ongoing evaluation process should be embarked upon to keep full track of the development of COVID-19. Contribution/value-add: This study contributed to the current understanding of how Covid-19 pandemic has escalated the challenges faced by SMEs in South Africa. The holistic analysis of this article proposes an integrated approach that views Covi-19 pandemic challenges within a multilevel framework and efforts which can mitigate SMEs financial crisis and attribute to their primary importance to one level or another.