The Minister of Social Development made the call for the implementation of a basic income grant during a mini plenary debate in the National Assembly
BLACK Sash has come out in support of Minister Lindiwe Zulu’s call for a basic income grant for the millions of unemployed people in the country.
Black Sash national advocacy manager Hoodah Abrahams-Fayker said that the proposal for a basic income grant has been in the making for almost 20 years following the 2002 Taylor Committee report.
“Since then, unemployment levels have worsened considerably, further exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Stats SA’s most recent Quarterly Labour Force Survey revealed that over 11 million people are unemployed, using the extended definition. During 2020 alone over 1.4 million jobs were lost due to the pandemic,” Abrahams-Fayker said.
She said Black Sash supports Minister Zulu’s call for the implementation of a basic income grant, made during a mini plenary debate in the National Assembly on Friday, March 12, 2021.
“There is overwhelming support, across political and ideological lines, for a basic income grant now. The Black Sash supports the request for the Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, to find the necessary resources to finance a basic income grant for those aged 18 to 59 years with no to little income,” she said.
Abrahams-Fayker said Black Sash urges the Department of Social Development to finalise the necessary policy and implementation instruments as well as the budget, approved by the relevant decision makers within the 2021/22 financial year, to ensure phased-in implementation by April 1, 2022.
“In the interim, the government must extend the Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant until such time that the Basic Income Grant is in place, and its value must be increased to at least the Food Poverty Line (currently at R585). Adults, who receive the Child Support Grant on behalf of children, must also qualify for this grant.
“Ultimately, the value must match the Upper-Bound Poverty Line (currently at R1,268) for its maximum benefits to be realised. There can be no further delay with implementation,” Abrahams-Fayker said.
– POLITICAL BUREAU