Maimane unveils plan for R1 200 basic income grant for the poor

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Mmusi Maimane.
Mmusi Maimane.
Elizabeth Sejake
  • OneSA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane wants all poor and "economically excluded" citizens to receive a basic income grant.
  • He has piloted an ambitious project that will see 120 people receive R1 200 each month.
  • Large companies with an annual turnover of more than R50 million will pay 10% of their net after-tax profit into a fund that will disburse the grant.

OneSA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane has set out an ambitious roadmap for a basic income grant piloting a project that will see 120 people receive R1 200 each month.

The R1 200 grant would be on top of any income the beneficiaries may make, unconditionally for 18 months.

The project, championed by RightfulShares and endorsed by OneSA Movement, was announced on Monday.

READ | New Covid-19 survey shows public support for a basic income grant, continuation of food parcels

Maimane said large companies with an annual turnover of more than R50 million would pay 10% of their net after-tax profit into a "RightfulShare fund", from which the proposed grant would be paid.

"A business is 100% compliant when they have done this, and all other Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) requirements fall away. It meets the criteria of certainty, clarity, and simplicity, all of which investors like, and there is no place for corruption to take place. All indirect costs associated with the implementation of BEE and compliance monitoring fall away," Maimane said.

He said small- to medium-sized businesses were not included in this model, as the threshold for compliance was for companies with an annual turnover of R50 million a year or more.

Maimane also said, at present, the country was in a socio-economic crisis.

He said:

"The huge growth in income and wealth disparities is morally unacceptable, hinders economic growth, and fuels corruption. Real wages have stagnated or fallen and the devastating impact of the coronavirus has exposed the dated and inept social safety net."

He continued: "Economic insecurity is the order of the day. Stressed and debt-ridden, most South Africans are just trying to survive. And, on top of this, the ongoing technological revolution will undoubtedly bring more disruption. These conditions are fertile grounds for populist leaders who incite blame, violence, and racial hatred to further their own political agenda."

Maimane said the project would be privately funded by investors, in order to demonstrate that the model was feasible and sustainable in the long term.

Excluded

He said citizens aged 18 to 59, living in a small rural town, who felt economically excluded or were unable to make ends meet, could apply via the RightfulShare website.

READ ALSORamaphosa's advisory council presents gloomy picture of SA's economic prospects

The selection process would be random and the project was expected to start in March 2021.

"An applicant is assigned a ballot number and every month 10 ballot numbers are drawn at random. Each number drawn wins a 'RightfulShare' (R1 200 monthly cash grant) for 18 months. The monthly selection draws will be live streamed," he said.

Maimane said it was time to end "trickle down" redress and implement direct redress to assist needy communities.

"RightfulShare is not means-tested, instead, it is rolled out in terms of standard age categories. It is paid through changing the BEE scorecard as opposed to being financed through worker pockets and it is paid in recognition of our countries past and the changing nature of the economy and work," he said.

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