Not for the first time, the government can sit and listen to the sound of jerking knees — or it can do something useful about poverty and growth. This time the conundrum is what to do about the special Covid-19 grant, which is due to expire soon.

The department of social development wants to extend it until the end of the financial year; researchers, among others, are urging the government to retain it permanently. As is customary in these cases, sections of the media have found economists to issue “dire” (and entirely fact-free) warnings about how this will ensure the country ends up resembling Zimbabwe. 

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