ItemClarifying the stratigraphic boundary between Member 4 and member 5 of the Sterkfontein Caves, South Africa: a three-dimensional spatial analysis of hominin fossils and stone tools(2021) Horn, MarykeThe caves of the Cradle of Humankind, South Africa, have yielded some of the most important palaeoanthropological evidence in the world. Over the last eighty years, Sterkfontein has produced remarkable fossils of both hominins and the diverse range of fauna that lived on the landscape over the last 3.67 million years. The Sterkfontein evolutionary record is not limited to fossils but also documents a rich development of stone tool technology from the Oldowan to Middle Stone Age. Sterkfontein is one of the only sites in the world that documents such a long sequence of overlapping biological and technological evolution. The recent development of a three-dimensional GIS-based geospatial framework at Sterkfontein has provided a new tool with which to interrogate spatial data from the extensive palaeoanthropological assemblages yielded from Members 4 and 5 at the Sterkfontein Caves. To explore long-standing debates regarding the stratigraphic association and formation of Member 4 and Member 5, this research conducted a GIS-enabled spatial analysis of Australopithecus fossils and fossil wood from Member 4 and stone tools from Member 5. Clarifying the location of the boundary between Member 4 and Member 5 may improve our stratigraphic control of the hominin and non-hominin fauna. Greater spatial and stratigraphic confidence in the attribution of specimens to major units, or even sub-divisions within major units, may assist in differentiating chronologically and stratigraphically distinct assemblages, thereby providing more surety to taxonomic and palaeoenvironmental associations between these deposits. In clarifying the location of the cave entrance, from which the Member 4 sediment accumulated, this research also addresses long-standing debates about the morphology of the Member 4 deposit and has implications on the stratigraphy of the unit and taphonomy of the interred fossil assemblages. ItemThe transformation agenda implementation at Eskom, Koeberg: lessons learnt for nuclear new build(2019) Dijkstra, Faye ReneSouth Africa aspires to re-industrialise and transform the economy into a globally competitive one, comprised of inclusive growth and development of all citizens. By leveraging the state’s procurement spend it strives to unlock opportunities for localisation and empowerment within state owned companies such as Eskom. This study sought to make recommendations from the investigations and analysis at Eskom, Koeberg regarding the lessons learnt from the implementation of its transformation agenda in the procurement processes, to assist nuclear new build. Data was collected and analysed, finding that little buy-in was obtained. Entrenching Transformational DNA – the central point around which the study binds – indicates the corrective action needed to commence its change journey, where DNA entrenchment is a sustainable and necessary precursor to future implementation in nuclear new build. The findings are significant if Koeberg is to maximise its local developmental impact in the ‘nuclear’ and ‘designated sectors for localisation’ productive sectors. It is recommended that Koeberg should re-implement the transformation agenda, taking cognisance of the lessons learnt. ItemThe Morphology and Transport of Mucus in Mammalian Airways.(1975) Andre William Wessels van AsThe mucociliary clearance mechanisms in mammalian pulmonary airways have been re-examined. In this investigation Wistar rats, housed both under specific pathogen free (SPF) and normal animal house conditions, were examined. An intact airway . system from the trachea down to the level of the terminal bronchioles was used. The airway preparation was rapidly isolated and examined under carefully controlled in vitro conditions. Specimens remained viable for at least 10 h. Mucociliary activity was observed through the intact bronchial wall with the aid of incident light. This function could be examined at all levels of the pulmonary tree in the same specimen. In contrast to the previously described presence of a continuous mucous bl~ket, the morphology of mucus in the airways of the rat has been shown to be discontinuous. Mucus is present as discrete particles of varying size. Under the light microscope these particles appeared to fall into three categories: droplets less than 4 μm in diameter; flakes 10-70 μm in diameter; and plaques which are conglomerations of droplets and flakes. Scanning electron microscopy reveals that droplets (i.e. single particles) may be as small as 0,5 μm and that composite particles made up of numerous aggregated droplets may be as small as 5 μm in diameter. Plaques are conglomerations of these particles. In the normal intrapulmonary airways only smaller particles are seen and are transported over the individual metachronal fields. In the larger extralobar airways these particles move together to be transported in well defined streams which may be up to 500 μm wide. These streams may follow a winding course up the trachea and more than one may be in operation at a time. Under conditions of hypersecretion such as occurs with chronic respiratory disease in rats (CRD) the number of particles increase peripherally and plaques may be found in small airways. The transport of mucus is however still intermittent and it never becomes confluent. Acute bronchitis results in wide-spread abnormalities of ciliary activity and mucus transport, which leads to total disorganisation of pulmonary clearance. "Chronic bronchitis" associated with CRD results in more organised abnormalities of mucociliary activity. Cilia may become inactive, reverse the .direction of their effective stroke, beat retrogradely, and exhibit abnormal beat patterns which result in impaired mucus clearance. Squamous metaplastic areas further impede mucus transport. In general mucus transport rates were found to be faster in rats with "chronic bronchitis" than SPF rats, provided that the extent of the damage to the mucous membrane was ( not too great in the "bronchitic" animal. This finding was confirmed by the examination of airway preparations approximately 19 h after the exposure to a charcoal aerosol. While significant amounts of charcoal were retained at the bifurcations of bronchi in SPF rats, most of the charcoal was cleared in "bronchitic rats'.'. The only areas where particles were seen were on bronchitic patches or on whirlpools. The findings of this study indicated that mucus was present in a discontinuous form, and that in both SPF and non-SPF animals no evidence for a mucous blanket was found. ItemGraduate unemployment: does field of study matter?(2023) Seilane, MpumeleloSkills shortage with graduate unemployment at face value appear as a contradiction in terms. However, this is emblematic of the South African economy. Albeit that the South African government invests a tremendous amount of resources towards the massification of higher education a significant proportion of graduates cannot find success in the labour market. Chief amongst the reasons why the South African government has taken this human capital investment path is to address the economic outcomes engendered by the historical policies of racial exclusion. Preferential access towards higher education institutions for previously disadvantaged individuals has been used as the weapon to combat poverty and inequality. However, having unemployed graduates in an economy severely lacking skills to grow is counter to the objective of reducing social inequality. The literature is at odds with regards to the relevance the field of study a graduate comes from in determining the prospects of success of a graduate in the labour market. So, with the use of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) dataset spanning from the first quarter of 2015 to the last quarter of 2019, this article employs a multinomial logistic regression model to investigate the correlates of employment amongst graduates in South Africa. The results indicate that graduate unemployment is fundamentally structural and therefore the field of study that a graduate comes from matters. ItemEconomic and institutional determinants of financial development for bank dominated and stock market-based economies in the SADC region(2023) Mogale, EtumelengThe study examines the determinants of financial development from the bank-dominated economies (Angola, Lesotho and Madagascar) versus the bank and stock market-based economies’(Mauritius, Namibia and South Africa) point of view for the selected SADC countries. The study further examines which economies develop more over time between economies that are bank-dominated and those that have both the banking sector and the stock markets. Using a panel dataset that spans from 1996 to 2018 - which was sourced from the World Development Indicators (WDI) - the study utilized the Autoregressive Distributive lag (ARDL) techniques to separately model for the banking system and the stock market which allowed for the unpacking of any short-run and long-run contributors to the financial sector development and thus capture any possible links between the explanatory variables and the financial development proxies, domestic credit to the private sector and market capitalization. The study found that the banking sector development is influenced by GDP growth rate, foreign direct investment, governments debts, trade openness and the rule of law while the stock markets are largely driven by GDP growth rate, inflation, trade openness, rule of law and regulatory quality. Furthermore, the study found that the banking sector does benefit from the presence of stock markets and that over time economies with both financial sectors tend to develop more than bank-dominated economies and that they are less prone to external shocks. The contributions to the existing body of literature are by critically looking at the drivers or deterrents of financial development in the SADC region so that the appropriate policy prescriptions can be formulated and implemented with the broader view of closing the infrastructure gap that exists within the region. By separately modelling the two financial sectors the study was able to see indicators that are the driving force in each sector and which economies – bank-dominated vs stock market-based - tend to do well over time. ItemJSE-listed firms and M&A’s: where is the economic value?(2020) Taylor, AmirThis research empirically assesses the stock price reactions to mergers and acquisitions announcements by JSE-listed target and acquirer firms. The following is assessed over the defined windows: the target and acquirer firms, the method of funding (cash or stock) for both target and acquirer firms and lastly industry mergers with target and acquirer firms grouped together and separately. Data is collected for 87 merger deals, consisting of 87 target and acquirer firms. The period assessed is from 1990 to 2019. The event study methodology and hence the market model are employed as the primary methodology, with the net-market-returnmodel employed as a robustness check. T-tests, paired t-tests and a one-way ANOVA model are employed to test for relative significance. The results in this study are unique and contribute to how the South African market views M&A announcements. Hence this will influence the contemporary understanding of the South African economy towards M&A’s. ItemThe use of South African trusts as estate planning and wealth preservation tools(2022) Sisusa, YolisaMuch focus has been placed on the ability of trusts in achieving the function of serving as estate planning and wealth preservation tools. Throughout the years, trusts have held a primary function to provide asset protection and continuity of ownership, and in certain circumstances trusts have been seen to also provide tax advantages. Various committees, legislation and Acts have played an integral part in providing guidance and recommendations to the use of trusts to ensure its proper use through policies and laws that disincentivise the ill-use and abuse from the time a trust is set up, throughout its course of existence. This research will investigate whether trusts are a viable estate planning and wealth preservation vehicle where Chapter 3 focuses on understanding the different types of trusts and their uses highlighting the need and practicality of use for each type. Chapter 4 unpacks the elements and importance of estate planning as well as how estate planning marries into other principles such as wills, taxation, donations, and estate administration. Chapter 5 will illustrate five wealth preservation principles and recommendations within the South African context. Chapter 6 identifies how trusts can be utilized as asset protection mechanisms by expanding and detailing on the areas of insolvency of the different trust role-players, attachment of debt by creditors, the look into how unsuccessful marriages and divorce may impact trust assets, the value and of business trusts as well as various applicable case law that complement this chapter. Lastly, Chapter 7 details the different types of taxation on trusts and the impact these taxes have, along with anti-avoidance provisions that have been promulgated overtime into the Income Tax Act 58 of 1962. ItemTax implications of intellectual property transactions in South Africa(2023) Sinobolo, PhinduloIntellectual property law is a category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect, and primarily encompasses copyrights, patents, designs, trade marks and know-how.1 The intention of the use of intellectual property is important to determine the correct tax treatment to be assigned in the calculation of taxable income in a particular year of assessment.2 The Income Tax Act 58 of 1962 (‘Income Tax Act’) is used, in this discussion, as a basis for determining the appropriate tax treatment of intellectual property transactions. Extensive focus is placed on discussing the tax incentives of royalties, premiums, acquisition of intellectual property and internally generated intellectual property. It should be noted that one should consider case law and the specific circumstances of each case, to determine whether the amount related to intellectual property will be deductible in terms of s 11(a).3 An overview of the tax implications for a franchisor and a franchisee is depicted when both parties enter into a franchise agreement. The taxation of image rights is specifically included in this discussion as companies, through their brands (i.e., trade marks) affiliate themselves with celebrities, sports professionals and influencers to drive their marketing strategy.4 A brief transfer pricing discussion regarding intellectual property is contained in the research report as it is imperative to determine whether an affected transaction has been entered into between connected persons which results in a tax benefit being derived. 5 ItemAn assessment and comparison of South Africa’s retirement tax reforms(2022) Setshedi, Sphiwe JohannahThe purpose of this research is to establish whether the retirement tax reforms effected in South Africa are beneficial for individuals. The research analyses whether individuals are better off, given the introduction of the amendments and investigates whether there are any shortcomings from a policy perspective. This paper also takes into consideration whether policy-makers could have implemented a different set of retirement tax reforms. The retirement tax reforms were formally introduced in the Taxation Laws Amendment Bill of 2019 (hereafter TLAB). The main purpose was to ensure uniform tax treatment across the various retirement funds (Taxation Laws Amendment Bill of 2019). In an attempt to achieve these objectives, the tax treatment of provident funds was amended, as follows (Taxation Laws Amendment Bill of 2019): • Employer contributions to provident funds would be treated as a taxable fringe benefit in the employee’s hands. • Members of provident funds, similar to other retirement funds, are required to annuitize upon retirement. The research also investigates whether South Africans are saving enough for retirement, as well as the incentives adopted by the South African government to promote savings for retirement and beyond. During the 2021 Budget Speech, Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, emphasised that “the proposed amendments to Regulation 28 seek to make it easier for retirement funds to increase investments in South Africa’s infrastructure” (Mboweni 2021). He also reiterated that “provident fund members will continue to enjoy a tax deduction on their retirement contributions, thus continuing the objective of encouraging people to save more towards their retirement” (Mboweni 2021). Once the above has been investigated, South Africans’ retirement tax reform is then compared with the retirement tax regimes of other developing African countries, namely, Namibia and Nigeria’s retirement tax regimes. This comparison is conducted as a means of assessing whether South Africa’s retirement tax provisions are better than the countries mentioned above. 4 This will prove that South Africa’s retirement tax reform is developing, and that government is set on modernising the tax provisions for the benefit of individual taxpayers. ItemTrends in reporting on climate change, water and COVID-19 by JSE listed companies(2023) Seedat, ZakiyyahEnvironmental, social and governance (ESG) information is increasingly demanded by stakeholders as companies face risks and opportunities due to ESG issues, such as climate change, water and COVID-19. ESG disclosure helps reduce information asymmetry for users of company reports and helps companies maintain their social licence to operate. Disclosure is voluntary and this introduces differences in the information disclosed by companies. This study analysed the annual, integrated and ESG reports of the top 40 Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE) listed companies. These reports were analysed following an interpretive approach to determine the extent of disclosure on climate change, water and COVID-19 in 2018, 2019 and 2020. This study also considered the change in disclosure on climate change and water over these three years. A disclosure checklist has been developed using professional literature. Content analysis has been used to codify the disclosed information with disclosures being scored using an ordinal scale. Descriptive statistics have been used to analyse and graphically present the data. Exploratory factor analysis has been used for the identification of major disclosure themes. This study contributes to existing research by considering the current state of ESG disclosure at a time when notable developments in the reporting environment have occurred. The findings indicate that companies have focused on quantitative and strategy-related disclosure, indicating the adoption of similar reporting practices by companies. The study also found that there was no significant change in climate change and water disclosure from 2018 to 2020. ItemDisallowing the utilisation of an assessed loss: a survey of South African case law(2023) Schreuder, SharoltaThe purpose of this report is to examine the circumstances in which the utilisation of an assessed tax loss can be disallowed. This research evaluates the provisions of section 20 of the Income Tax Act 58 of 1962 to the effect that the set-off of any balance of assessed loss incurred by a taxpayer (such as a company) in any previous year of assessment is admissible only against income derived by the taxpayer from carrying on a trade. The report focuses on how companies should have regard to the general legal principles laid down in the case law in considering whether they have satisfied the “carrying on [of] a trade” requirement in order to carry forward an assessed loss. The research suggests that taxpayers should also be aware that the South African Revenue Service (“SARS”) may nevertheless invoke the provisions of section 103(2) of the Act to disallow the utilisation of an assessed loss. ItemThe application of section 24C allowances in respect of future expenditure on contracts(2022) Sakhela, AsandaGross income definition as per the Income Tax Act No. 58 of 1962 (the Act) section 1(1) states that: ‘…the total amount, in cash or otherwise, received by or accrued to a resident during a year of assessment which is not of a capital nature’. A discrepancy may exist when a taxpayer is taxed on the income on receipt or accrual. For a taxpayer in receipt of such income with the obligation of fulfilling the attendant contractual duties, the expense is only deductible when the requirements of section 11(a) read together with section 23(g) of the Act have been met. According to the general deduction formula, the expenses can be claimed when incurred. Future expenditures to be incurred will not be deductible under the general deduction requirements, however, a relief with reference to section 24C is available by deducting the expenditure to be incurred in subsequent years in the year income is received. Over the years, taxpayers have found themselves faced with SARS reviews and/or audits on the deduction under section 24C. This has resulted in various tax court cases with the latest appealed in the Constitutional Court. As new rulings regarding section 24C application appear quite frequently this research examines various tax court cases up to volume 84 of the South African Tax Cases. The research will analyse section 24C as per the Act and explore the requirements of Interpretation Note 78 entitled ‘Allowance for future expenditure on contracts’ – 2014 (IN 78) including the challenges faced by taxpayers in the application thereof. ItemExploration of audit quality disclosures contained in the transparency reports of audit firms(2023) Raphadu, Mpya AaronPurpose: The purpose of this study is to explore the disclosure practices of audit firms issued in the transparency reports. This study uses audit quality standards to assess how disclosures regarding audit quality have been included in the audit transparency reports. Methodology: This study analysed the publicly available transparency reports of the big 4 audit firms and medium audit firms. These reports were analysed following an interpretive approach to determining the extent of disclosure on audit quality from 2016 to 2020. This study also considered the change in disclosure on audit quality over these five years. A disclosure checklist has been developed using professional literature. Content analysis has been used to codify the disclosed information with disclosures being scored using an ordinal scale. Descriptive statistics have been used to analyse and graphically present the data. Findings: The findings suggest inconsistencies in the preparation of the transparency reports. The number of disclosures did not increase significantly from 2016 to 2020, even though there was increased public scrutiny of the audit firms in the wake of audit failures over the same period. Additionally, the big 4 audit firms provided more disclosures compared to medium-tier firms. Research limitations: The research is limited to the publicly available transparency reports and, therefore, the findings are not representative of all assurance providers in the South African market Practical implications: The findings can be used to aid audit regulators in understanding inconsistencies in audit firm transparency reports to develop assurance reporting frameworks. Additionally, the findings can inform regulators of these reporting issues about audit quality indicators. Value: This study complements the current research by providing insight into audit firms' disclosure practices in audit transparency reports. Current research has been focussed on corporate governance-specific disclosures. ItemCredit growth and its impact on profitability and liquidity in the local banking industry of South Africa and the United Kingdom(2022) Pillay , Melissa DianneThe study aims to review the impact of credit growth on local bank profitability and liquidity in both South Africa (SA) and the United Kingdom (UK) between 2015 and 2020. A quantitative approach is used in the study, using descriptive statistics and panel regression analysis. The sample data were extracted from The Banker database; this is a key source of data and analysis for the world’s banking sector, South African Reserve Bank (SARB), Statistics SA, and Trading Economics. Explanatory variables for profitability in the panel regression analysis include return on average assets (ROAA), return on average equity (ROAE), total assets, equity assets, loan assets, costto-income, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate, Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI), consumer price index (CPI), the interest rate on loans, interest rate margin (IRM), unemployment rates, and credit growth. Explanatory variables for liquidity in the panel regression include ROAE, total assets, equity assets, GDP growth rate, CPI, interest rate on loans (IRL), IRM, unemployment, and credit growth. The findings indicate that credit growth is insignificant for bank profitability and liquidity in SA and the UK, so no relationship exists. The main issue is not credit growth per se but the combination of high credit growth, low provisioning, and looser lending. Based on the findings, a negative relationship exists between cost-to-income and bank profitability, reflecting that a higher cost-to-income ratio does decrease bank profitability in both SA and the UK. Other variables for SA were statistically significant: equity assets, total assets, the cost-to-income ratio, and GDP growth rate. In the UK, the following other variables were statistically significant: loan assets, total assets, cost-to-income, GDP growth rate, HHI, ROAE, CPI, and IRM. Further research can focus on expanding the period and the countries reviewed to assess credit growth in more depth. ItemA critical analysis of section 45 of the income tax act 58 of 1962.(2023) Nyoka, Rejoice NombuleloThe introduction of CGT in SA resulted in the birth of the corporate restructuring rollover tax relief to avoid tax on the transfer of assets within the same economic unit. Section 45 of the Act specifically provides a deferral tax rollover relief for the transfer of assets within the same group of companies. The built-in anti-avoidance rules in section 45 of the Act did not prevent taxpayers from abusing this tax rollover relief, instead it gave birth to innovative tax-free exit from investments and debt-push down schemes. Lawmakers mitigated the tax relief abuse by implementing burdensome rule-based anti-avoidance rules. This study aims to critically analyse the intended purpose of section 45 of the Act and how the rule-based anti-avoidance rules in section 45 of the Act unduly hamper the efficacy of this tax relief. ItemThe impact of tax avoidance practices on tax revenue collection in South Africa(2023) Nkadimeng, Hendrick LegamaneThe study examines the impact of the tax avoidance practices on the collection of tax revenues by the South African Revenue Service. It examines the extent to which collection of tax revenues is compromised by the application of some of the tax avoidance practices by the taxpayers. Various tax avoidance practices were studied and analyzed for the purposes of the study. The analysis includes, amongst others, the court cases, online academic articles, books, media releases and theses for the purposes of putting together reliable source of data. Each source of information was studied and analyzed separately for the purposes of the study. South Africa, as a developing country, has been impacted negatively by some of the tax avoidances practices applicable within the South African tax law. The country has lost quite significantly, over the years, some of the tax revenue amounts which could have been collected had the tax avoidance practices not been applicable within the tax legislation in South Africa. The research study concludes by analyzing few possibilities and recommendations on how the South African Revenue Service could possibly ensure that collection on tax revenues is maximized while the tax legislation remains fair and transparent to the taxpayer. ItemThe analysis of the requirements of the new General Anti Avoidance Rules as compared to the repealed section 103(1)(2022) Ngcobo, Nelisiwe MukeliweThere is a constant struggle between the South African Revenue Services (SARS) and the taxpayer. SARS wants to collect as much money as possible from taxpayers; on the other hand, taxpayers want to pay as little tax as possible. The Government tries to implement new legislation and provisions in the Income Tax Act to make sure that taxpayers are restricted or limited in structuring their agreements in a way that reduces or limits their tax liabilities. On the other hand, taxpayers also try to find loopholes in the Income Tax Act that will work in their favour to reduce their tax liability. Most taxpayers structure their agreements in a way that ensures that they are still within the ambits of the provisions of the Income Tax Act but at the same time, mitigating their tax liability. It has been established over the years that taxpayers have a right to structure their financial affairs in a way that benefits them. This research paper will be looking at the requirements of the new General Anti Avoidance Rules (section 80A – 80L), compared to the now repealed anti-tax avoidance provisions of the old section 103 (1) of the Income Tax Act, which made a huge impact on this topic as most court cases used the interpretation of this section to reach judgments. The new anti-avoidance provisions are based on the important elements of the old provisions. This research report will analyse the General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR) under section 80A to 80L of the Income Tax Act 58 of 1962. The aim is to analyze and conclude on the developments and effectiveness of the new GAAR in curbing tax avoidance. ItemWeaknesses in the legislation for tax avoidance and tax evasion in South Africa and suggested improvements(2021) Naidoo, Katelynne Ann‘Tax avoidance and tax evasion threaten government revenues’ (OECD n.d.). As the globalization of domestic and international trade continually increases, tax evasion remains a hurdle for governments around the globe (OECD 2017a:9). Governments rely on tax collections primarily to finance economic expenditure; however, governments face a huge loss of revenue through tax evasion at different levels (OECD 2014:91). It is submitted that stringent tax collections are imperative for South Africa as a developing country. An examination of the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion will be performed given that the difference is often perceived to be faint (Davidov 2016:1). The main aim of the study is to examine the weaknesses in the legislation for tax avoidance and tax evasion in SA and suggest improvements. An analysis of the role of the government, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and other countries towards adopting a holistic approach to designing policies to prevent tax avoidance and tax evasion will be performed. Tax avoidance, harmful practices and aggressive tax planning must be tackled (African Tax Administration, African Union and OECD 2021:18). ItemRetirement planning for financial independence: exploring different investment vehicles from a tax benefit perspective(2022) Mthembu, ZizilePlanning for retirement is an important step in the lives of South Africans, whether they are employed or self-employed. The Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995, of South Africa, does not specifically prescribe the age of retirement, however the normal age of retirement for employed individuals is generally between the ages of 55 and 65 years, depending on the industry and the rules of the retirement funds involved (Western Cape Government, 2018). This study evaluates the different investment options available to the ordinary South African in planning towards his or her retirement. It focuses specifically on three investment vehicles, namely, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), retirement annuity funds and offshore endowment policies. The study examined the characteristics of these investment vehicles, the tax benefits available, the risks involved and how to use those returns to ensure a financially independent and sustainable life during retirement. ItemIdentifying obstacles to the growth of new SMEs: a factor analysis approach(2019) Mphahlele, Dorothy B.It is widely acknowledged that Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) are key drivers of economic growth and job creation in developing countries. It has also been established that new SMEs face common problems that arise as they grow and develop. These challenges stem from internal as well as external factors that can have an adverse impact on their survival and growth. The objective of this study was to identify the internal and external obstacles to the growth of SMEs. A questionnaire was used to collect data on factors affecting the growth of SMEs. The results of the questionnaire were analysed using Factor Analysis. Eight different factors were identified. These factors were further analysed to determine their impact on SMEs. The ranking of the factors in order of importance was as follows: lack of access to finance, overregulation, the economic environment, high competition, lack of internal resources, high input costs, lack of experience of the entrepreneur and poor service delivery. The report examines possible ways of mitigating the adverse factors identified and makes a series of recommendations to increase the likelihood of the survival of SMEs in the South African context.