R1 200 In Basic Income Grant
By Daniel Itai
Former Democratic Alliance (DA) leader and convenor of the One South Africa Movement, Mmusi Maimane, has come up with a prototype aimed at creating a basic income grant.
According to Maimane, the basic income grant will be pegged at R1 200 which will primarily focus on the unemployed and those that earn below the Poverty Datum Line (PDL) for the duration of 18 months.
“The basic income threshold grant should be R1 200. So we want to show the government that it can be done. People can receive a reasonable basic income grant. Moreso, you don’t need a payslip because the grant is supposed to even supplement those who have piece jobs but the basis of the matter is that we want to encourage people to keep working. We are doing it with donor funding and we are going to pilot the program next year in a certain town which we will announce in February.
Moreover, the model is dependant on the consistency of the cash from donors. We are focussing on poor individuals and those that fall below the PDL. We are engaging with international partners whom we will be piloting the program with in March next year.”
To date, the government only issues social grants which mainly focus on the elderly, children, single mothers, and the disabled.
However, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, many have been heavily affected losing jobs and a basic income along the way which has now left them in limbo as they are not part of the criteria that can access the social grant.
Regardless, in April government instigated a monthly relief package of R350 which will lapse next year in January for those who cannot access the social grant. However, many civic organizations and political parties have been calling upon the government to make it permanent as well as increasing the amount something which the government has since argued as inapplicable due to economic constraints.
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