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Basic income grant on the way? Govt reveals new report

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Dec 12, 2021

The Department of Social Development has been pushing for a basic income grant for a while now. With longstanding issues over SASSA grants, many believe that a basic income grant would do wonders for alleviating poverty in the country. They also think it will help the economy.

Will South Africa get a basic income grant?

The Department of Social Development will hold a joint briefing on Monday with the UN Sustainable Development Goals Fund.

The groups appointed an independent panel to look at ways to relieve poverty through a basic income grant. The department says the grant would support 18 to 60-year-olds. The panel has spent months doing research with both economic and social policy experts.

The department says the economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has now greatly accelerated discussions over a universal grant.

“This economic downturn coupled with job losses propelled the discussion on income support to the forefront of current socio-economic policy debates. It is in this context that the Department of Social Development will on Monday, December 13, launch the research report on Basic Income.”

Department of Social Development Spokesperson Lumka Oliphant

What is a universal basic income grant?

Let’s keep it simple. A basic income grant is a government program that pays every adult citizen a set amount of money regularly. This is normally done on a monthly basis.

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How the hell will countries pay for this?

In summary, the goal is to see it replace other basic-need grants (ie SASSA here in SA). It is also being pushed together with tough enforcement on taxes for corporations and some of the world’s richest individuals.

Will we see it here in SA? The Department of Social Development is pretty convinced. But national treasury has been quick to raise its affordability concerns.

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