OPINION | BIG issue: A basic income grant and job creation aren't mutually exclusive

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Picture: iStock
Picture: iStock
Picture: iStock

The South African government has been absurdly ambivalent about BIG since it was first recommended by the Taylor Committee in 2002 and has subsequently ignored unending advocacy calls from the labour movements, civil society organisations and even the official opposition party, says Eddie Rakabe.

The devastating Covid-19 social and economic distress has amplified the significance of social assistance programmes, not only in South Africa, but throughout the world, as a crucial expression of the nations’ solidarity with the vulnerable, the unemployed, the poor and those working under precarious conditions. Covid-19-induced economic lockdown and the subsequent restrictions on economic activity dealt a severe blow to the livelihood endeavours of poor and low-income households. People who survive on meagre wage suddenly found themselves destitute because of the economic lockdown.

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