Much has been written, suggested and speculated about the future of various forms of social support in SA — from the R350 social relief of distress grant to the possibility of a more permanent basic income grant. None of this will be sustainable without spending.

It could be argued that the “austerity” embedded in the medium-term budget policy statement was intended to protect social support (and repay debt) rather than invest in growth. Some principles come to mind...

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