The prescribed rate of interest changed with effect from 1 January 2023 to 10.5% per annum. The previous rate was 9.75% per annum.

According to the Prescribed Rate of Interest Act, interest on debts where no rate is prescribed is calculated at the repo rate plus 3.5%. The prescribed rate of interest applies to all debts unless a different rate is set by law, by trade custom or by agreement between the parties. The parties can therefore avoid the application of the prescribed rate by agreeing to a different interest rate, subject to other applicable laws such as the National Credit Act which may limit the amount of interest that can be charged.

When the Reserve Bank changes the repo rate a new prescribed rate of interest becomes effective from the first day of the second month following the month of the new repo rate announcement. The applicable rate of interest for a debt is the rate that is in effect at the time when the interest begins to run. That rate will continue to apply even if the prescribed rate of interest changes at a later date.

Outdated versions of this blog remain on the internet. For the latest rate always go to https://www.nortonrosefulbright.com/en/knowledge/blogs and search for “Prescribed rate of interest”.

Here is a table of the changes in the prescribed rate since 1993 (note: there was no change in 2021):

Date rangeRate of interest
1 October 1993 – 31 July 201415.50% pa
1 August 2014 – 29 February 20169.00% pa
1 March 2016 – 30 April 201610.25% pa
1 May 2016 – 31 August 201710.50% pa
1 September 2017 – 30 April 201810.25% pa
1 May 2018 – 31 December 201810.00% pa
1 January 2019 – 31 August 201910.25% pa
1 September 2019 – 29 February 202010.00% pa
1 March 2020 – 30 April 20209.75% pa
1 May 2020 – 31 May 20208.75% pa
1 June 2020 –30 June 20207.75% pa
1 July 2020 – 31 August 20207.25% pa
1 September 2020 – 31 December 20217.00% pa
1 January 2022 – 28 February 20227.25% pa
1 March 2022 – 30 April 20227.50% pa
1 May 2022 – 30 June 20227.75% pa
1 July 2022 – 31 August 20228.25% pa
1 September 2022 – 31 October 20229.00% pa
1 November 2022 – 31 December 20229.75% pa
1 January 2023 –10.5% pa