2000

UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE


BASIC INCOME GRANT

MEDIA STATEMENT ISSUED BY PROF M MBADI, MP,
UDM SPOKESPERSON ON WELFARE

The majority of South Africans are still victims of the devastating effects of poverty. This deprives them of hope and relegates them to a state of despair. It destroys their capacity to achieve. Government must be committed to change these painful living conditions that affects so many South Africans.

Against this reality the UDM welcomes the investigation and research of possible basic income grant as foreseen by Cabinet. Thorough research indicating the economic, financial and, most importantly, social impact of such a grant is needed before an informed decision is made. The capacity of the Department of Welfare, in its current form and state, to deal with such a grant is questionable.

Though every effort to lighten the plight of the poor needs to be welcomed and encouraged, the answer does no simply lie in making South Africa a Welfare State.

The burning issue remains the creation of income opportunities for all families. Enterprise development that will empower South Africans to generate income is where the focus should be. Unless opportunities are
created for South Africans on a massive scale, real empowerment will never occur.

Government should integrate its approach and look at a well-developed programme of action where one job per family can be created as a starting point. This is a sustainable approach that will not only address poverty in an artificial manner, but will give back to South Africans their dignity and self-belief.

Enquiries:

Prof Mtutuzeli Mbadi

13 March 2000