Government to introduce universal income grant – minister

Despite Treasury’s proposed spending cuts.
Image: Shutterstock

South Africa will introduce a universal basic income grant, the Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu said on Monday, unexpectedly reviving a two-decades-old plan with the aim of supporting millions of unemployed.

The country already has one of the continent’s most generous social security nets, but the Covid-19 pandemic has added to the need both to protect its fragile economy and its high number of unemployed.

Zulu did not give details of how the grant would be funded or its size, but told a virtual press briefing it would be paid “post-October”.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the government had planned to spend R309.5 billion on social security payments this year.

The pandemic prompted President Cyril Ramaphosa to announce in late March a temporary top-up of those grants by up to R300, including a R350 unemployment grant, lasting six months.

A universal grant had seemed unlikely, given soaring public debt and following an emergency budget that proposed sticking to R230 billion in spending cuts.

The treasury did not immediately respond to telephone calls and emails from Reuters seeking comment.

The universal grant will target around 33 million people between the ages of 18 and 59. South Africa’s poverty line, including non-food expenses, calculated by Statistics South Africa, is around R1 270. That would put the annual cost at roughly R42 billion, calculations by Reuters found.

Isobel Frye, director of the South African-based Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute and a Minimum Wage Commissioner, said the universal grant had been discussed by government over the last 10 months, but the treasury had been reluctant to fund it.

“It was unexpected but incredibly welcome. It suggests there’s been a lot of reflection about the inadequacy of the R350 Covid grant,” Frye said.

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Whahahaaa.

Is this how these idiots plan to fight inequality? Charity.

WHAT ABOUT CREATING JOBS?

The mind boggles…that’s right, ban the tax generating items such as tobacco and alcohol and spend the non existent money on an universal basic income grant and NHI.

Would love to know where these idiots planted their money trees.

Yay I can’t wait! It’ll help replace 0% of my lost income and funded by other taxpayers that are also earning 0. At least we all get R350 (maybe).

Cant pay UBI when there is no economy stupid.

Oh well, tyranny of the majority.

Dire Straights : Money for nothing and the cheques are free.
Unicorns dancing at full moon…

Grants aren’t universal if they exclude whites.

Besides, the whites are being taxed in order for the ANC to pay the grants to their supporters.

They obviously haven’t considered what happens once the ANC has completed their plan of working the whites out of the economy so that they can’t continue paying taxes, and their blacks are uneducated, untrainable, and living off state grants.

What then ANC? Is that communism? Will they farm with gravel?

No, you just do what Zim does and let the majority starve while the politicians steal the financial aid.

Where are we going to get this approximate R42 billions? I am sure also it is going to be way more because the justice department and friends will give a directive forcing government to give everyone, legally and also illegally in SA like the R350 directive this future planned grant.
I also listen to an interview and read something that some people who qualified for SASSA grant have not collected their money and the minister if I am not mistaken said she thinks and believe that this is because the people are just outside the boarders of SA and due to lockdown they have not been able to cross boarders and fetch their monies!

The mind boggles because if you and Sisulu are correct then SASSA are paying grants to persons who are not resident is SA. If one is poor enough to receive a grant one should not have enough money to travel for leisure so recipients of grants should not be outside SA borders.

Correction on boarder. Correct one border.

Minister Zulu is a diva; an untouchable in the ANC. Universal income grant (without much specifics) falls into the same category as “picking up the rand”. Even after being told that there is no money in the ficus to dole out.

I feel for PG and Tito to work work with colleagues, in cabinet, like these half wits.

Exclude PG from that – he is doing his best to blow as much tax money on SAA as he can.

Sounds like we are heading the same route as Argentina – massive government debt, economic collapse and IMF bailouts. At least if the IMF bails us out maybe they will force more rational policies.

August is coming. Provisional tax return month. I think that a 30% only drop in tax income is pure Pollyanna optimism. Try 50% plus, for the next 2 years, maybe. SA will be unable to pay back its debts very soon, and will have to go begging for a bailout.

The IMF is going to have other ideas about this and other socialist fantasies.

Absolutely. Can’t imagine any SMME planning to pay tax for years to come

The tax base has been destroyed for nothing of course, since the lockdowns accomplished nothing.

And we are about to get another lockdown level 4 or 5 very soon.

All signs are there that Cyril will lose his nerve.

Just smoke and mirrors for the voters. Voters have been kept stupid so they will suck it up.

This minister also has not been getting the showtime some of the others have been getting so jumping in on the act.

Hey ANC, why not give them a billion ZAR each, its all fantasy money (as the government literally is bankrupt) and you’re going to have to go to the printing presses soon anyway, so rather just get it over with?

Buying more votes, that’s all it is.

So hang on, the poverty line is R1270 per anum? So R105 per month?

Is it really that little?

A Universal Basic Income Is Essential and Will Work:

We’re already in a Semi Partial – Star Trek Economy. With the advent of the arrival* of the fourth industrial revolution Economy| a.k.a Machine Jobs | A new form of Nany State (Life style/Birth a.ka. family planning controls) is required. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trekonomics

Resources are also no longer scarce (Supply is mostly artificially kept bottle necked.)

How is it funded?
The central bank can print it. We might not have Star Trek replicator technology that uses and converts energy into matter… but we do have the next best thing… a Central bank.

Are you insane and will this not mess up the economy?
No and No.

Central bank money printer goes… pppppprt!

This system is not the same that “Zimbabwe & Co” did it.

It is entirely possible to pay all the country’s poor a basic income. With other instruments it is also possible to provide government required infrastructure this way.

There’s no reason the “poor” needs to sleep on the street, not have meals daily or access to medicine.

Ok… but what about the international trade deficit, inflation, x limited labour, x limited finite resources, people might be lazy and quit jobs, etc…
A. There’s solutions for each. For more info, inbox me.

We honestly do not need to live in a world economy designed by people who lived before the first light bulb.

We need consumers, customers and the more people with needs there are that have the ability to “pay” for those needs (even if not earned) the better in today’s economy.

Do you economics?
Please read Ludwig von Mises: On Human Action and Murray Rothbard – Anatomy of the state.

Anything the state has the power to give you the state can take away. Also we do not live in a post scarcity world. Scarcity will simply change from one item or substance to another.

I really want to emigrate. I have grown to hate the country which is unfortunately the only native land of my people. There is no future left in this country. You won’t be able to raise children here. You have to look to the future.
I might not pay the most in income taxes but I will not be funding the new SAA, This and the rest of the other communist fantasies all about.

If you know any suggestions as to any free countries, both personal freedom and economic, please let me know. And even more so if they still take immigrants. SA is done.
Perhaps the US is an option, but good luck getting in there. Europe? More socialist by the day, but still freeer than here.

I don’t know anymore.

Nothing is as depressing as working for a boss (or parent) that is expecting too little of you.

Yet government expects no initiative from the millions of unemployed.

Also, no effort is being made to make the traditional areas more productive, with much of the land there being under utilized or lying fallow.

Why are all these grants dished out with nothing expected from the recipients in return?

Make the grants conditional on two days labour for the local municipality a month. There is always cleaning, painting, building and planting work to be done. It instills a sense of achievement and improve the surroundings.

In any case – there is an election coming. That is why these grants are dished now.

End of comments.

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