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Protest outside Parliament demands an end to austerity

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside Parliament during Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) on Thursday afternoon calling for among others, a basic income grant.

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside Parliament during Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) on Thursday afternoon calling for among others, a basic income grant.

Published Nov 12, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - Hundreds of union and civil society members protested outside the gates of Parliament on Thursday during the Mid-Term Budget Speech, calling for, among other things, an end to austerity.

Black Sash, the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) and Cry of the Xcluded supporters gathered outside Parliament on Thursday and demanded a basic income grant of R1 500 that meets the immediate living needs of the unemployed.

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Other demands include the provision of fully public, quality, safe, affordable public transport, proper sanitation services and gender-based budgeting that includes the provision of free sanitary towels.

Black Sash national education and training manager Amanda Rinquest said the caregivers who get the child’s support grant should also qualify for basic income support.

“We are here today to demand a budget that is for the people, a budget that can make a basic income grant permanent. We are excited that the new minister will uplift the new economic system which prioritises the poor. We are demanding a new way of thinking, a way that prioritises the people's needs. Our country is the only food-secure country with a child hunger problem, and that means we must raise the child support grant. The R350 grant must be permanent and increased to over R600,” said Rinquest.

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Samwu deputy regional secretary Bridgette Nkomana said the government should tax the rich so that they could provide the basic income grant.

Nkomana said this basic income grant would boost the economy, creating demand for products and services, and thus creating many jobs.

“We we are saying that they must start taxing the rich in order to make sure that they provide the basic income grant of R1 500 for every unemployed person,” she said.

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Nkomana said corruption was prevalent in the country.

“From here we visit the Civic Centre to fight for services for the people. We will also fight for (water) systems where they would switch off water for the people and allow little droplets to come out of those dams. Their responsibility is to make sure that they provide services to the people,” she said.

Cape Times

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