The country had crossed a critical threshold in making income available to working-age people, so recognising that this group merited help in a country with its problems of poverty, high unemployment and inequality, according to a statement yesterday.
A recent webinar Social Protection in South Africa: Building back better post COVID-19, which was hosted by the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security, aimed to highlight the gaps in South Africa’s social protection system exposed by the pandemic. The issue is especially significant now as the end of the six-month emergency relief measures approaches.
The organisation’s national director Lynette Maart said the Black Sash was seeking 1 million signatures for its online petition calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa, along with Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu, her Finance counterpart Tito Mboweni and the National Treasury to permanently implement social assistance for this “missing middle group”.
This group of people are at the upper bound poverty line currently at R1 227($73.84) a month, she said.
“Research has shown up the huge gap in terms of support for this group, who have enjoyed access during the lockdown period to the Special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress grant. Rather than ending it in October, we must work with that as a start – taking us forward to the ultimate goal of a universal Basic Income Grant,” she said.
This is an abridged version of the the article published by Channel Africa. Access the full article here.
Old debates about ‘charity’ and welfare funding resurfaced during the Covid-19 lockdowns in 2020, notably around how benefactors could get…