Busa backs Finance Minister Godongwana's view on basic income grants

The country has been debating whether it would be feasible to introduce an income grant since President Cyril Ramaphosa announced government would probe the issue when delivering his state of the nation address earlier this year.

New Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana at the swearing in ceremony at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 6 August 2021. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Business Unity South Africa (Busa) has backed new Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s apprehension around the basic income grant, saying that not only is there no money to fund such intervention, but it would also fail to bring about economic regeneration.

The country has been debating whether it would be feasible to introduce an income grant since President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that government would probe the issue when delivering his State of the Nation Address earlier this year.

Business Unity CEO Cas Coovadia said a basic income grant would create a bigger fiscal challenge and would be unsustainable in the absence of economic growth.

"We do need to open up the country for investment and on the back of that create inclusive growth that looked for job-creating opportunities,” said Busa CEO.

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana told the Sunday Times that the country should rather focus on creating jobs instead of raising funds for a basic income grant.

However, the Institute for Economic Justice's Neil Coleman challenged this view.

“The question is how can jobs and grants be complementary that they cannot be a mutually exclusive choice in our current condition, there must be a combination of strategies, and that’s what was disturbing about the comment,” said Neil Coleman.

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