SASSA SRD News Today
In todays latest SASSA SRD News – As the deadline for the R350 SRD grant draws near and unemployment rates increase, experts are calling for the South African government to implement a permanent basic income grant.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s 2022 state of the nation address is set to address the implementation of a new basic income grant, however the presidential economic advisory council has mixed views regarding this with many warning Ramaphosa of the damage this could cause to economic growth and job creation.
Civil society groups have called for the president and Treasury to implement the permanent income support for adults aged 18 to 59, as millions of South Africans are living under the poverty line.
Social Development Department expert panel chair and Wits University Professor, Alex van den Heever spoke to Newzroom Afrika saying that the panel recommended that the R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant be institutionalized.
This is so that the grant can be expanded on in the future to eventually become the permanent basic income grant.
“Our report was stressing that we do need this form of income support as a permanent part of our social protection regime,” said van den Heever.
In a leaked report by the advisory council, they state that the Social Development Department’s report has made some errors regarding the risks to the economy and the success of the basic income grant.
van den Heever says that the leaked report by the economic advisory council largely expresses views and opinions which are not backed up by evaluations and analysis.
He says that government needs to implement the grant urgently as the unemployment issue has become systemic and will not be solved in the near future.
van den Heever says people without any other source of income must be supported and that the government will have to start at a level which they can afford taking into consideration all of the risks.
“Our view from our panel was that the starting point with the Covid-19 SRD grant was a sufficiently safe starting point and thereafter a gradual increment could be looked at,” he said.
The panel recommends that the incremental advancements be assessed in the public domain so that anybody can evaluate and deliberate it as it is part of the democracy of the country.
The R350 SRD grant is currently set to end by March 2022, millions of South Africans anxiously await to hear if this grant will be extended by president Ramaphosa at the state of the nation address on 10 February 2022.