South Africa: Social Development Department launched a panel of experts in order to report on basic income support.
Poverty, inequality, and unemployment continue to rise due to the current unfavourable economic climate, which is informed by – amongst others, the recent COVID-19 pandemic, which negatively affected the country and the world.
As the triple challenges persist, it is widely accepted that social protection is an important component of development – for both human and economic development.
The rising rate of unemployment, together with the high uptake of the COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant, are evidence that there is a gap in the provision of social protection for the working age group of 18 to 59 years.
This necessitated the Department of Social Development to conduct studies to inform a proposal to extend social assistance to this vulnerable group.
The report affirms that income poverty in South Africa is extremely pervasive. More than half of households live in poverty, and the COVID-19 SRD grant is critical to sustaining their livelihoods.
Furthermore, the impact of this grant on poverty and inequality is potentially more significant than previously understood. This is despite the relatively modest nature of the temporary relief.
The Department of Social Development will, on Tuesday – 13 December, in Gauteng, launch this groundbreaking report. Experts and participants will deliberate on the findings and the recommendations of the report.
This research was commissioned by the department in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Amongst key thematic areas for discussion by the panel members are the Social Outcomes of the Social Relief of Distress Grant and its Economic and Fiscal Considerations.
At the end of the programme, the report will be handed over to the Department of Social Development by the International Labour Organisation.