Black Sash calls on govt to fast-track implementation of basic income grant

Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu called for the implementation of the basic income grant in the National Assembly just over a week ago

FILE: Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu attends a media briefing on 13 July 2020. Picture: @The_DSD/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Advocacy group the Black Sash on Monday said it was vital that government fast-tracked the implementation of the proposed basic income grant to help those left destitute by the lockdown.

Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu called for the implementation of the basic income grant in the National Assembly just over a week ago

The grant has been in the pipeline for years now and the Black Sash said it must be implemented as soon as possible to fight poverty and unemployment.

The call comes at the time when the country's unemployment levels have worsened considerably with more than 11 million South Africans without jobs.

A proposal for a basic income grant was first brought forward about 20 years ago following the 2002 Taylor Committee Report.

The Black Sash said there was no time to delay the implementation of the grant and had received support from all corners of South Africa with Zulu calling on Parliament to implement the programme.

Black Sash advocacy manager Esley Hooder said: “The Black Sash supports Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu’s call for the implementation of the basic income grant. There is overwhelming support across political and ideological lines for a basic income grant now.”

The group said in the meantime, it wanted the COVID-19 social relief grant to be extended until the basic income grant is in place. Added to this, it also wants its value to be increased.

It also said parents receiving social grants on behalf of their children must qualify for the basic income grant.

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