Government Working To Introduce Basic Income Support

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More than 25 million vulnerable individuals rely on social grants top purchase basic goods and services. Government has revealed its intention to extend this support in the form of basic income support.

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The Department of Social Development (DSD) is currently planning for the possible implementation of Basic Income Support (BIS).

During the State Of The Nation Address (SONA) President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the government is working to develop a mechanism for targeted Basic Income Support. This plan is being developed within the country’s financial constraints.

DSD Minister Lindiwe Zulu says the need for BIS is a consequence of the structure of South Africa’s economy and society which currently only benefits a few.

Zulu said, “If ours were not a society and economy that were structured to benefit the absolute few, there would be fewer reasons necessitating this intervention.”

The  implementation of BIS will build on the innovation introduced through the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant, including linking data across government agencies to ensure all vulnerable individuals are supported.

Ramaphosa also announced that the government will continue its implementation of the SRD grant beyond 2024. Minister Zulu says this is proof of the government's commitment to protecting citizens against economic, health, social, climate change and similar shocks.

The Social Development portfolio will also be collaborating with other government departments and private sector partners to define a framework for the absorption of employable youth who are receiving child support grants.

Minister Zulu believes this will allow youth who are currently receiving grants to become economically liberated and ensure they can live dignified lives.

The minister said, “Noting that nearly all of the young people who receive grants on behalf of children are young women, it is imperative that these be meaningfully empowered to improve their dignity and remove most of the socially constructed vulnerabilities that bedevil women.”

Minister Zulu said the provision of jobs for youth and the funding fo entrepreneurship support programmes can further alleviate the load on the fiscus. 

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Sassa could soon distribute basic income grant

The South African government wants to increase the scope of social support to include unemployed adults. The Social Development department is investigating ways it could introduce basic income support for vulnerable adults in a way that is financially sustainable and does not comprise economic growth.  


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