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You Can Now Apply for a Basic Income Grant of R999

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You Can Now Apply for a Basic Income Grant of R999

You Can Now Apply for a Basic Income Grant of R999.In light of rising living costs and the pressing issue of unemployment, approximately 8 million South Africans find themselves without jobs and struggling to meet their essential needs. In response to this situation, a political party has put forward a substantial proposal to increase the basic income grant.The GOOD party has initiated its campaign for a basic income grant, which is anticipated to be a key priority leading up to the upcoming general elections next year.

You Can Now Apply for a Basic Income Grant of R999

Dubbed the “GOOD deal,” the party proposes a basic income grant of R999, emphasizing that not only is it feasible but also imperative.The party argues, “Our fundamental belief is that there is no more direct and effective way to assist an impoverished individual with no income than by providing them with cash.”

Brett Herron, Secretary General of the GOOD Party, asserts that the government is not adequately fulfilling its responsibility to support the impoverished population, thereby failing to uphold the constitutional obligation to assist those who are unable to sustain themselves.

According to Section 27 of the South African Constitution:

Section 27. (1) All individuals have the entitlement to access: (a) healthcare services, encompassing reproductive healthcare; (b) an adequate supply of food and water; and (c) social security, which includes suitable social assistance for those who are incapable of supporting themselves and their dependents.

More About R999 Grant

As per the National Development Plan, the objective is to eradicate the situation where any South African falls below the lower-bound poverty line, and it is this goal that informs the R999 figure.

In 2022, the lower-bound poverty line was estimated to be R945 per month. In contrast, the current Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant falls short of even half this amount.According to Herron, the R999 grant is intended to cover the lower-bound poverty line with a small additional sum allocated for transportation costs, primarily for job-seeking purposes.

Currently, beneficiaries of the SRD grant receive R350 per month. Herron highlights that this amount has remained unchanged since its introduction in 2020 and is funded until 31 March 2024. As of April 2022, the estimated food poverty line stood at R663 per person per month. Clearly, the R350 monthly grant falls significantly short of meeting about half of the current estimated food poverty line.The political party aims to make the R999 grant accessible to unemployed South Africans aged between 18 and 60.

Who Is Going to Pay for the Grant?

According to Herron, GOOD Party has conducted research to assess the viability of funding a basic income grant from the national budget. The findings revealed that the increased grant could be financed by reducing the expenses associated with provincial legislatures, provincial executives, and resources allocated to the offices of the premiers.

To achieve this, the party proposes adopting a zero-based budgeting approach and eliminating inefficient government programs that fail to generate satisfactory returns on investment. This includes measures such as reducing the number of ministers, ministries, and departments. In addition, Herron suggests various interventions that the government could implement:

  • Possible tax reforms, such as raising corporate taxes.
  • Professionalizing the public service to reduce reliance on expensive consultants, which currently costs R11 billion annually.
  • Combating corruption and considering privatization rather than bailing out dysfunctional state-owned enterprises.

The Good Party believes that with some adjustments to the existing tax system, the government can afford to implement this basic income grant. However, they concluded that the maximum amount sustainable within the National Budget would be R999.

Implementing such a grant would require approximately R100 billion annually. Considering South Africa’s total budget expenditure of R2.24 trillion, this grant would constitute a mere 2% of the annual budget.

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