South Africa floats universal basic income for all

The Guardian

South Africa is facing the most dramatic political shift since the end of apartheid after the African National Congress lost its majority in the general election of 29 May. Weeks of difficult negotiations between the ANC and its rivals on how best to form a governing coalition are expected.

One commitment that unites most parties – including the incumbent ANC and its biggest rival, the Democratic Alliance – is to maintain or increase income support for adults, which includes monthly Covid payments to the poorest households.

Stockton, California, which in 2019 began a basic income pilot program.

But the ANC has gone one step further. A week before the election, it released a statement deepening its commitment to finalising a policy to transform the state’s Covid grant into a universal basic income (UBI) within two years of forming a new administration. If implemented, this would make South Africa the first country in the world to work towards a policy of paying all people between the ages of 18 and 59 a regular grant, with no condition to be seeking work.

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