Minister Lindiwe Zulu Proposes Extension of Social Relief Grant and Basic Income Grant Implementation

Minister Lindiwe Zulu Proposes Extension of Social Relief Grant and Basic Income Grant Implementation

In a significant move aimed at addressing the economic challenges faced by vulnerable populations, Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu is set to approach Cabinet with a proposal for the implementation of a Basic Income Grant (BIG) policy. The initiative comes in response to ongoing concerns about unemployment and rising living costs.

The government has already taken steps to extend the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant, initially introduced in 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to continue supporting unemployed individuals until 2026. This extension, according to Zulu, provides the government with the necessary time to develop and implement the more comprehensive BIG program.

Unions and civil society groups have advocated for a BIG that exceeds the current R350 grant. They believe that a higher BIG could provide sustainable support to those individuals who find themselves outside of the labor market.

Minister Zulu acknowledged the ongoing vulnerability of SRD beneficiaries to hunger and poverty due to persistently high unemployment rates and the relentless increase in food prices. In response to these pressing concerns, the Department of Social Development is diligently working on a draft policy for the BIG, which will be submitted to Cabinet for approval.

Zulu explained, “The department of social development is intending to approach Cabinet to seek approval to publish the draft Basic Income Support policy for public comments in the current financial year.”

This important development is eagerly anticipated, and it is expected that Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana will provide further details during the upcoming Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement in November. The extension of the SRD grant will be contingent on the finalization of the Basic Income Grant policy.

The potential implementation of a Basic Income Grant signifies a proactive approach by the South African government to mitigate the impact of poverty and unemployment on its citizens. It reflects a commitment to providing long-term and sustainable financial support to those in need.


Related Posts