Since the pandemic started, with restrictions imposed to fight the virus, many South Africans have found themselves without resources.
The government then set up a monthly grant of 350 rand (about twenty euros) for all those who have no job and do not receive other social assistance. This boost was soon to cease, but it could make room for lasting help.
During the celebration of the 109th anniversary of the ANC on Friday, the South African president said he would “continue the discussions” this year around the creation of a basic income to create “a safety net for the poorest in the country”.
The idea has been coming up regularly since the 90s. the health crisis has given arguments to its defenders, while post-Covid-19 promises to be very complicated and unemployment exceeds 30%. South Africa already has a strong welfare system that supports more than 18 million people, but such a basic income will include those who are not entitled to anything.
Votes are also being raised against its implementation, claiming that South Africa does not have the funds while its coffers are empty. Therefore, there is still a lot of debate to be resolved about the award criteria and the method of financing before the idea becomes a reality.
Providing a universal income is currently being tested on a smaller scale in Kenya, but no country on the continent has so far adopted such a measure.