Some NGO’s want the government to make the Covid-19 emergency relief measures permanent from October, especially the one that allows citizens aged 18-59 to access state assistance for the first time ever, to create a basic income grant. 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.
South Africa has an incomplete social protection system without a mandatory pension savings scheme. Designing a universal insurance pension system would allow to reduce the important government funded pension grant system and ensure that the old-age population has decent income. Only 40% of employees are contributing to a form of saving-retirement scheme, with often a low pension. Moreover, South Africa has a dual, public and private, health care system. Half of the country’s health-care spending goes to the private sector, which covers only 16% of the population.
The evidence is now clear, and the COVID-19 crisis has only made it more pressing that “now is the time” for universal child benefits – this was the message offered from the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) webinar on the subject last week. The discussion centred on the arguments that children continue to be massively over-represented in terms of global poverty and under-represented – almost 2/3 of the world’s children – in access to social protection and/or any form of benefits.
In this month, the Informal Economy Podcast: Social Protection will dive into the topic of universal basic income, or UBI.
In South Africa, the government has recently announced the intention of implementing this policy in the country, which was regarded as a very important step.
Insights from a study of men receiving South Africa's Child Support Grant are used to make recommendations about the development of more gender-sensitive social protection systems in Africa that better account for women's care burdens and that incentivise the sharing of those burdens with men and with the state. Prepared for the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung's Lusaka office.