The South African Communist Party (SACP) argues that the delay in the introduction of basic income grant to the most destitute, is worsening the current scourge of criminality in the country.

The party, is calling for the introduction of the grant, to help fight increasing levels of unemployment.

Over 15 million South Africans are currently without jobs. SACP spokesperson, Dr Alex Mashilo, acknowledges that reports of widespread corruption in the disbursement of temporary social relief of distress funds during this current coronavirus pandemic are also not helpful.

In July the Poverty and Inequality Institute emphasized the importance of a basic income grant of R1 268 per month, saying people living on the poverty line will have a chance to better survive and move the country’s economy forward.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that government is looking at the feasibility of implementing such a grant.

“The amount of R1 268 is indexed to the upper-bound poverty line. With one swoop, we could eliminate poverty by having it paid. If we give too little, it doesn’t have a structural impact.

So in a way people talk about that old-fashioned notion that the poor will be dependent on grants to an extent that is correct, if the amount is just enough to survive and we won’t have that multiplier effect. So the amount itself cannot be too little, or else what you are doing is just making sure that people are surviving. We need that springboard effect,” said Isobel Frye, Poverty and Inequality Institute Studies Director.

Calls on government to provide a universal basic income grant of R1 268: Isobel Frye

In June, StatsSA released its Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the first quarter of 2021, which indicates a marginal increase in the number of unemployed people in the country, to an all-time high of 32.6 percent.

This is an increase of 0.1 of a percentage point from 32.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020, meaning that the number of unemployed people has increased by 28 000, taking the number to almost 7.2 million South Africans.

The unemployment rate according to the expanded definition increased to 43.2% in the first quarter