BASIC INCOME SUPPORT FOR THOSE AGED #18TO59

WORKING TOWARDS UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME

The South African Government has a constitutional and an international obligation to provide social security, including to ensure that those aged 18 to 59 years have access to social assistance.

WORKING TOWARDS UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME 

The South African Government has a constitutional and an international obligation to provide social security, including to ensure that those aged 18 to 59 years have access to social assistance. 


Watch the virtual launch of the Basic Income Support campaign and research report on 24 August 2020.

The Black Sash demands that government implement permanent Basic Income Support for those aged 18 to 59 years who have little to no income! Unemployment, poverty and inequality have been compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic. This crisis is not temporary and a more extensive social security programme is needed to complement job creation programmes.

Government is constitutionally obligated under Section 27 of the Constitution to progressively realise the right to social assistance for those unable to support themselves. Government also ratified the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). This human rights Covenant recommended that government ensures that “those between the ages of 18 and 59 with little or no income have access to social assistance” and consider a universal basic income grant for everyone!

BIS parliment 4

Government temporarily introduced social relief measures to buffer the negative impact of the pandemic. A significant intervention was the R350 Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant for the unemployed with a monthly means test threshold of zero-rated income. Following several extensions and its termination in April 2021, the Covid-19 SRD was reinstated in August 2021, but with the expanded eligibility criteria, until March 2022. This included an increase to the monthly means test threshold to R595 and unemployed caregivers who receive the Child Support Grant on behalf of children are now eligible to apply.

The Covid-19 SRD grant is an acknowledgement of the limited work opportunities for the unemployed in South Africa. The grant is the first step towards the permanent extension of the social assistance framework to include the unemployed while working towards a Basic Income Grant.


Basic Income Support picket

The Black Sash demands that government:

  • Immediately increase the reinstated Covid-19 SRD grant to at least the Food Poverty Line, currently R624 until social assistance for the unemployed is made permanent
  • Implement permanent income support for those aged 18 to 59 years with little to no income, valued at the upper-bound poverty line, currently R1 335 per month. Unemployed Caregivers, who receive the Child Support Grant, must also qualify;
  • Make the Covid-19 increases of R250 per month permanent for all grants
  • Ensures that refugees, permanent residents, asylum seekers and migrant workers with special permits also qualify and receive their grant; and
  • Work towards a universal basic income for all!

 

More about this campaign

Download the Basic Income Support Case for Support Report: 

bis


View the Presentation

BIS Cover image

 

Key Conceptual Documents:

The National Department of Social Development’s Discussion Paper on Income Support for the Unemployed aged 18 to 59 (16 November 2020):

The National Department of Social Developments Discussion Paper on Income Support for the Unemployed aged 18 to 59

Summary of Recommendations for South Africa from the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (2019):UN Summary of Recommendations for SA cover image

Breaking the Poverty Trap: Financing a Basic Income Grant in South Africa - Black Sash, 2004

Transforming the Present, Protecting the Future - Report of the Committee of Inquiry in a Comprehensive System of Social Security Reform in South Africa - Prof Taylor, 2002