PROPOSALS AROUND REPLACEMENT OF THE SRD GRANT AND Prospects for a Universal Basic Income Guarantee
14 October 2022
This despite the success of the SRD grant in combating the worst forms of hunger and poverty, and the fact that the governing party has resolved to extend and improve the SRD grant. [...] Apparent ignorance of the harm of this approach is surprising in the light of the massive exclusion errors the SRD grant is currently experiencing, directly as a result of the conditionalities put in place since April 2022. [...] This is unconscionable in the context of the extreme distress, hunger, and poverty in the country, given that less than 2.5% of the budget will relieve such a high proportion of the population from this crisis; and in the context of a large surplus tax revenue since 2020 estimated at over R250 billion in relation to projections in the 2021 and 2022 Budgets, which could easily finance this expendit. [...] We have little doubt that if there was the will to find the resources, both for an extension and improvement of the SRD grant and its translation into permanent income support, this could be readily done, just as the President’s decision to extend the grant over a period of three years has been accompanied by the ability to find the resources, even in a period of fiscal austerity. [...] What has civil society demanded • Representatives of the coalition have written to the Presidency to express our strongest objections both to the contents of the proposals, and to the failure of government to engage with the coalition despite repeated undertakings to do so.