The South African Communist Party (SACP) says it supports the call by a number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for the introduction of a Universal Basic Income Grant (UBIG).

Following a three day meeting of its Central Committee, the SACP says that unemployment is the most important challenge facing South Africa and must be met with a rapid emergency response.

SACP General Secretary, Blade Nzimande says the R350 COVID-19 distress grant can be used as a foundation to put in place the Universal Basic Income Grant.

Nzimande says the Universal Basic Income Grant will act as an economic stimulus.

“A basic universal income grant can and will act as an economic stimulus least for the millions of South Africans working in the informal and SMME (Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises) sectors that have been most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The unemployed and underemployed poor who will be the major beneficiaries of the Universal Basic Income Grant are precisely those who will spend in these sectors of basic foods and other necessities,” says Nzimande.

Video | SACP calls on government to use the COVID-19 fund to phase in the Universal Basic Income Grant

Official figures released last week have put the unemployment figure in the country at 34% – the highest among 82 countries surveyed by Bloomberg.

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