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SA’s triple challenges of high and unacceptable levels of unemployment, poverty and inequality continue to attract a multitude of proposed solutions. The real solutions over the long term are structural economic reforms as proposed by the Treasury, but these reforms lack the political backing necessary for speedy implementation.

In place of these urgent reforms, a permanent and universal basic income grant (BIG) is proposed as a necessary and immediate solution. It is simply assumed that the government is unable to create a conducive environment for a thriving business sector that can absorb labour. It is equally assumed that, in spite of the government’s inability to implement reforms quickly and efficiently, it can somehow guarantee the sustainability of what is now close to a Scandinavian welfare state...

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