Lindiwe Zulu confirms Basic Income Grant is on the cards

Minister Lindiwe Zulu says they may introduce the basic income grant after 2026. Picture: GCIS

Minister Lindiwe Zulu says they may introduce the basic income grant after 2026. Picture: GCIS

Published Oct 19, 2023


Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu says she will approach Cabinet to approve the draft policy on the Basic Income Grant before it is fully implemented.

Zulu said moves are already afoot to extend the Social Relief of Distress grant of R350 to the unemployed until 2026.

This would give government time to work on the basic income grant.

Unions and civil society have proposed the basic income grant of more than R350 and said it would be able to sustain many people who are not in the labour market.

The SRD grant was introduced in 2020 when Covid-19 hit the country and the government said at the time it was meant to cushion the poor and vulnerable.

The government has extended it several times after that.

Zulu, who was replying to a written parliamentary question from Good Party MP Brett Herron, said they now wanted to introduce the basic income grant.

The department of social development was still working on the draft policy that will be sent to Cabinet for approval.

“Given the ongoing vulnerability of the beneficiaries to hunger and poverty because of continuing high unemployment and the escalating food prices, the department is proposing the extension of the SRD until end of 2025/26 financial year, this will allow the department to finalise the Basic Income Support policy on a more permanent and sustainable intervention.

“The department of social development is intending to approach Cabinet to seek approval to publish the draft BIS policy for public comments in the current financial year,” said Zulu.

Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana is expected to announce, during the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement in November, the extension of the SRD grant pending the finalisation of the basic income grant policy.