Covid-19 and Social Grants
During the spread of Covid-19 , the South African Government launched several new social grants to help those affected by poverty and unemployment. Their flagship grant, the Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant, targeted 19 to 59 year olds with little or no income, who had been excluded by previous social assistance programs. They also introduced a Caregivers Grant for adults caring for children under 18. Engenas Senona, Wanga Zembe and I interviewed members of the Black Sash around the country about their experience with these grants. We found that these grants were vitally necessary, but came with new challenges and exclusions because of the way the programs rolled out. Our report examines how we can learn from these challenges to advocate for universal basic income.