South Africa’s unstable economy and high rate of unemployment has led to many looking in the way of Basic Income Grant (BIG) as a solution to the crisis.
Goldman Sachs SA former CEO, Colen Coleman, is one of the backers of the Basic Income Grant plans.
The most marginalised and poverty striken citizens without hope of getting employment should be handed out an income of R800 for basic living needs, Coleman proposes.
South Africa’s economic growth rate can’t operate at the necessary speed with the majority of the population living in abject poverty, he said.
The BIG proposal has also been associated with giving back dignity to the poor while trying to balance the income gap between the rich and the poor.
Moving the R350 SRD grant a month to R800 would make such a massive difference in the lives of 12-million South Africans.
As indicated by Coleman, the 34% unemployment rate means 15 million of South Africans are working, while 12 million others are not.
Standing opposed to those who see social grants as a threat to the economy, Coleman explained that a financial lift directed to the poor and small businesses would have a direct positive impact to the overall growth of the economy.
Civil rights organisations have had varying reactions to the possible introduction of the R350 Social Relief of Distress grant, with some saying it posed a threat to the strength of the economy, while others supported it.
This has consequently led to increasing calls for the government to introduce a Basic Income Grant, following days of the July unrest in parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, putting people’s jobs at risk.
Coleman concluded that the Basic Income Grant can be made possible by government, looking at current inefficiencies of state owned companies, municipalities, corruption, and the high cost of public wage bill.