Senior citizens queue for their monthly social grants, in Soweto. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/ER LOMBARD
Senior citizens queue for their monthly social grants, in Soweto. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/ER LOMBARD

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday announced a package of measures to support households and businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent violence in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, including the reintroduction of a R350 income grant to the poorest citizens between the ages of 18 and 59. Some are calling this the beginning of a permanent Basic Income Grant in SA.

After the recent series of violent protests in parts of the country that exposed mounting political and economic frustrations, the president has brought the proposal back into the spotlight.

Michael Avery spoke to Professor Stephen Devereux who holds the SA/UK Bilateral Research Chair in Social Protection for Food Security and is affiliated to the Centre of Excellence in Food Security at the University of the Western Cape; Professor Alex van den Heever, chair in the field of Social Security Systems Administration and Management Studies at the Wits School of Governance; and Colin Coleman, former CEO of Sub-Saharan Africa at Goldman Sachs, about how this will be funded and the trade-offs at play.

Michael Avery and his panel of experts debate the new social grant and how this will be funded.

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