A big debate is going on about the BIG and that is encouraging. It goes to the heart of the economic policy debate about the balance between growth and grants in SA. It is time the BIG idea is properly aired, based on proper evidence. The government needs to face up to the tough trade offs involved and to make appropriate policy choices.

Calls for SA to introduce a basic income grant for all adults go back at least two decades. The Covid-19 pandemic’s devastating impact on unemployment and poverty levels has, inevitably, put it back on the radar. Many of its advocates have looked to the temporary R350 Covid-19 social relief of distress grant as a platform from which to build a BIG...

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