Govt finalising proposals for basic income grant, says minister

The Citizen

Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu says her department has received widespread support during consultations with various stakeholders for the introduction of a basic income grant (BIG) policy for South Africans in need and unemployed.

The minister participated in a debate in National Assembly on Thursday on the BIG.

She said her department was finalising its proposals, including financing options and implementation pathways in the coming financial year, following which they would seek Cabinet approval of the necessary legislative processes.

In May last year, government started disbursing payments of the R350 Special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress grant targeted at unemployed adults aged between 18 and 59. The grant, which is administered by the South African Social Security Agency, was extended by a further three months this year due to socioeconomic challenges caused by lockdown regulations.

Zulu said the grant had reached an average of six million adults per month who would otherwise have had no other means of survival.

“Given that these were all new applicants who did not have access to a grant before, this is a major achievement which has demonstrated our capability to implement income support on a larger scale,” Zulu said.

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