By: Yogashen Pillay
See original article here.
Durban – The National Freedom Party (NFP) said that they support the call by workers and labour unions across South Africa for the introduction of a Basic Income Grant and a decrease in the price of fuel and electricity.
On Wednesday morning, dozens of members of the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) are holding marches across the country, including in Durban, to demonstrate their unhappiness with the rising costs of living.
NFP MP Ahmed Munzoor Shaik Emam said that the cost of living in South Africa was becoming unaffordable for the majority of South Africans.
“The poor and working class are facing the brunt of the high cost of living. Therefore, we support the call for a basic income grant.”
Emam added a staggered approach to the introduction of the Basic Income Grant, will allow for its implementation.
“We understand that at this very moment, the government does not have the funds to implement a comprehensive Basic Income Grant for all qualifying citizens. However, we believe a staggered approach is both feasible and practical.”
Emam said that the party calls upon the government to:
– Utilise the infrastructure of the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grants and convert it for the purposes of the Basic Income Grant
– Develop a qualifying criterion for the Basic Income Grant
– Select a portion of qualifying citizens to start the roll-out with – such as those between 18 and 25 who are in the process of looking for jobs and need the support for transport and internet access for the applications process
– Set roll-out targets and increase the number of qualifying citizens over a defined period so that all qualifying citizens can benefit.
Emam added that the NFP also supported the call for today’s national shutdown by labour unions as a mechanism to push the government to take action.