President Cyril Ramaphosa has held a meeting with an organisation relating to a possible extension of the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant and the introduction of a Basic Income Grant.
Civil society organisation, Black Sash met with a number of key personnel as they are calling for the extension of the SRD grant as well as the introduction of a basic income grant. President Cyril Ramaphosa, Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana and Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu were in attendance.
The SRD grant was introduced to assist people whose prospects of finding employment were erased as the country entered a hard lockdown to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
Black Sash National Director, Rachel Bukasa says the introduction of a basic income grant can be done. She disputes the argument that this type of grant could encourage a culture of handouts or that it is not affordable for the country.
Bukasa says the meeting did not have an outright approval of a commitment to introduce this type of grant but there was a commitment to further engage on the topic.
She said, “One of the things that both ministers in the meeting as well as the president said was that they were committed to making the lives of South Africans better and this is one of the ways we do it. We don't have current dates committed right now but we are on standby, ready to move whenever government is ready”.
Minister Godongwana announced last year that spending on South Africa’s social wage will be addressed during his budget speech in February. The Department of Social Development, headed by Minister Zulu, also commissioned experts to study and investigate the impact of a Basic Income Grant.