The basic income grant debate has been rumbling in South Africa for two decades, ever since the grant was recommended by the Committee of Inquiry into a Comprehensive System of Social Security for South Africa in 2002.
The reintroduction of the “social relief of distress” grant by President Cyril Ramaphosa, for unemployed people and unpaid caregivers who don’t receive any other social grant or unemployment insurance, provides the ideal moment to introduce permanent basic income support for poor and unemployed adults.
I prefer the argument for basic income support, rather than a universal basic income grant. That’s because South Africa already has social grants for poor children up to 18 years of age, poor older people over 60 and other vulnerable groups.
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