Basic Income Grant - an old idea needing a new strategy

The BIG in a time of increasing levels of poverty and hopelessness is certainly for many families in South Africa a buoy that cannot easily be dismissed. To those who can barely survive, who have no certainty of knowing how food and fuel will be bought - the BIG will keep many families afloat.

But here is the problem - being kept afloat is not sustainable! A real rescue plan needs to simultaneously be put forward. For those household and families who are drowning, a plan for rescue and survival into the future is the strategy that government and families themselves need to agree.

Currently 18 million of the population receive various forms of grants on a monthly basis eg child grant, disability, old age and others. And now the R350 COVID-19 grant has increased the number of people who can access grants. The question has to be - does government know how many households and family units are accessing what grants? NO! Because there is no integrated ICT system that can track who gets what and what impact is achieved per family. And therein lies the strategy - the BIG must be tied to a bigger picture of immediate rescue and then strengthened households and families into the future.

So simple and yet with current government capacity to manage resources - so complex.

Recent Posts

See All


The South African family is defined as and is embracing of not only the nuclear family (mother, father and children), but also single parent, multi-generational, grandparent, same-sex and sibling fami

#20 Thoughts on family in less than 100 words

Philip Brownes says that the concept of "family" is both a biological reality and a social construct that has changed and evolved over time within different cultural contexts. In the west - and increa

Where are the Social Workers?

A social worker working for local government recently shared with me his workload and the geographical area that falls within his portfolio. While his workload within the family sector included statut