How The Basic Income Grant Will Affect Social Protection In SA



The R350 grant has helped relieve a lot of affected individuals during and after the Covid-19 pandemic. Discussions were held about possibly replacing the R350 grant with a basic income grant during Tuesday's meeting with the Second BRICS Working Group.



Dr Joni Musabayana (International Labour Organisation (ILO) Director for Decent Work for Southern and Eastern Africa) says the reasons they are working to resolve this issue is because the Covid-19 pandemic has shown that crises are going to become part of our daily lives.

He went on to say:

We have to be disaster ready at all times. We need Social Protection to limit the impact so that we don’t panic every time there is a crisis.

The meeting that involved BRICS, held in Port Alfred, was placed under the theme “Ensuring Decent Work, Dignity and Respect for all” and acts as a sequel to the first EWG which took place in Muldersdrift, Johannesburg in February.

South Africa covers about 52% of its population, while the average for the African continent stands at 17% in terms of Social Protection, says Dr Musabayana.

Ms Christina Behrendt, (Head of the Social Policy Unit in the Social Protection Department of the ILO) said guaranteeing at least a basic level of income security is a key function of a national social protection floor.

She went on to list the benefits of minimum income grants and other social assistance, which include keeping up with living standards and allowing for living life in dignity.

Mr Sipho Ndebele, Acting Deputy Director-General responsible for Labour Policy and Industrial Relations in the Department of Employment Labour, said that social protection will promote inclusive economic growth, reduce inequality and alleviate poverty as well as decent work.

Ndebele continued to say that they need to ensure that social protection systems are effective, efficient and accessible to all workers, including those in the informal economy as well as the vulnerable groups.

The informal economy provides employment for a significant proportion of the labour force in BRICS countries, says Mr Ndebele.

He goes on to say that developing policies and programmes that enable informal workers to acquire skills and access opportunities for decent work is essential. This will ensure that informal workers have access to social protection that includes health insurance, pensions and others.

Suggested Article:

Zulu considers proposals for SRD grant increase

Almost 50% of the South African population relies on the various social grants that are administered on a monthly basis by the South African Social Security Agency. Some civil society groups have proposed that social grants receive an increase.





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