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What About the Universal Basic Income Grant Mr President?

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Statement by The Cry of the Xcluded and the Assembly of the Unemployed, 29 July 2021

On Sunday evening South African President Cyril Ramaphosa offered his in-frequent dictats to the nation via the so-called “family meeting”. Among the announcements made was the reinstatement and expansion of the eligibility for the R350 Social Relief of Distress Grant (SRD) and a return to an adjusted level 3 lockdown. While these are both positive steps in moving the country forward following the initial cancellation of the SRD Grant, Sunday’s announcement was a missed opportunity to listen to the calls of the millions of unemployed and institute a Universal Basic Income Grant of R1,500pm.

As we noted in a recent statement, the country’s jobs bloodbath and massive rates of hunger that leave more than 10 million without food ( of which 3 million are children). This necessitates both the implementation of a dignified, Universal basic income grant and the increase of the child support grant to R 585. In February, we and other movements representing 1.5 million people rejected Tito Mboweni’s austerity budget, which cuts key and vital services in the aim of reducing the public sector wage bill. We argued then and continue to argue that the only way out of our country’s economic crisis is to push forward a massive public sector led economic renewal programme that centers the just transition and the country’s glaring crisis of social reproduction.

While the nay-sayers like to proclaim that such a programme is not possible, the latest economic research from a range of civil society organisations and economists continue to show that there is fiscal space for a Universal basic income grant and extended public services. The first step in doing so is to reject the notion that the private sector and wealthy individuals’ ill-gotten wealth should not be taxed. As the Cry and the AoU we have been consistent that the country must Tax the Rich. In addition measures must be taken to stop and punish public and private sector corruption that rob us of a dignified life.

We call on all in South Africa to advance the fight for a dignified Universal Basic Income Grant. President Ramaphosa the people want and need a Universal basic income grant now, your Treasury must now follow suit.

#EndAusterity

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For More Details Contact:
● Khokhoma Motsi – 0734907623
● Siyabulela Mama – 0659707079
● Vuyokazi Made – 0733257009
● Ntokozo Ncongwane – 0810162338
● Bridgette Nkomana – 0744840316
● Sikhumbuzo Tshezi Soxujwa- 078 718 5326
● Nonhle Mbuthuma – 0763592982

Endorsed By:

  1. Makause Community Development Forum,
  2. Keep Left/Socialism from Below,
  3. South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU),
  4. General Industrial Workers Union of South Africa (GIWUSA),
  5. Housing Assembly,
  6. Primrose Backyards Dwellers Forum,
  7. Southern African Green Revolutionary Council
  8. Youth Unemployment Crisis Committee
  9. Fighting Inequality Alliance – South Africa
  10. Rural Women’s Assembly
  11. Food & Allied Workers Union (
  12. Inyanda National Land Movement
  13. Right2Know Campaign
  14. Gauteng Housing Crisis Committee
  15. SAMWU Back2Work Campaign
  16. Abahlali Base Freedom Park
  17. Commercial Stevedoring Agriculture Allied Workers Union
  18. #PAYTHEGRANTS
  19. Goldfields Community Forum
  20. Amadiba Crisis Committee
  21. Socialist Youth Movement
  22. Taaibosch Kei Korana Royal House and Greater Eldorado Park Housing Task Team
  23. Sisonke Revolutionary Movement
  24. OCF
  25. Dobsonville Community Chest
  26. Unemployed People’s Movement
  27. United Front
  28. COWG
  29. Ntinga Ntaba ka Ndoda
  30. The South African Liberated Independent Public Sector Workers Union
  31. Sofasonke Tenants Association
  32. Unemployed Graduates Movement
  33. Sekhukhune Environmental Justice Network
  34. Amandla Collective
  35. Botshabelo Unemployed Movement
  36. Passion 4 People
  37. Wayside Community Org