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Basic Income Payments Would Extend the Sassa Grant

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Basic Income Payments Would Extend the Sassa Grant

The United Nations International Labour Organisation (ILO) suggests that transforming the R350 social relief of distress grant (SRD) into a basic income grant would have significant advantages. Initially introduced to support individuals facing hardship during the pandemic, the grant was initially set to conclude in March but was later extended until March 2024.

Basic Income Payments Would Extend the Sassa Grant

Recently, the ILO convened a meeting to address this matter. Christina Behrendt, the head of the social policy unit within the ILO’s social protection department, emphasized the importance of establishing a national social protection floor by ensuring basic income security.

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Behrendt stated, “Minimum income grants and other social assistance benefits are crucial in guaranteeing a minimum level of income security.” She outlined several benefits that a basic income grant could provide, including the following:

  • Well-defined programs enshrined in national legislation, featuring clear and transparent eligibility criteria (including means tests), mechanisms to address grievances, and rights of appeal.
  • Sufficient benefits that enable individuals to lead a dignified life.
  • Regular evaluation of benefit levels to ensure they remain aligned with the cost of living.
  • Social dialogue that incorporates tripartite participation and the involvement of relevant stakeholders.

By implementing a basic income grant, these essential elements could be safeguarded, paving the way for more comprehensive and effective social protection measures.

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