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Temporary basic income could slow down Covid-19 surge

The immediate introduction of a Temporary Basic Income for the world’s poorest people could slow the current surge in Covid-19. FILE PHOTO Picture Bongani Mbatha/ African News Agency (ANA)

The immediate introduction of a Temporary Basic Income for the world’s poorest people could slow the current surge in Covid-19. FILE PHOTO Picture Bongani Mbatha/ African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jul 26, 2020

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DURBAN - The immediate introduction of a

Temporary Basic Income

In South Africa, the pandemic prompted president Cyril Ramaphosa to announce a temporary top-up of those grants by up to R300, including a R350 unemployment grant, in late March. Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu has announced that the country will introduce a universal basic income grant as part of a range of packages to help the country’s unemployed.

“Bailouts and recovery plans cannot only focus on big markets and big business. A Temporary Basic Income might enable governments to give people in lockdown a financial lifeline, inject cash back into local economies to help keep small businesses afloat, and slow the devastating spread of Covid-19,” said UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner.

UNDP has carried out assessments on the socio-economic effects of Covid-19 in more than 60 countries since the pandemic began, with data confirming that workers who lack benefits, have no choice but to venture outdoors, putting themselves and their families at risk.

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