background: 

Strategies:

The Direct Democracy Forum will:

  • Offer social welfare grants only to the most needy, and then only if they are both uneducated and un-educatable, or otherwise unemployable due to health, disablement or other verifiable and justifiable issues

  • Those who don’t fall into any of those categories will be employed by the state to be educated and trained. That is, the state will pay a liveable salary and fund their education (see Education and Training), whether as adults or children (the latter particularly to gather into the net child headed households and other child victims of society).

    • The aim of this program will be to convert disenfranchised and dependent persons into empowered and independent persons capable of contributing to society instead of living off of society.

  • Tie child support benefits to:

      • Supervision by the department of social welfare.

      • verification of attendance by the beneficiary and child at clinics, child care centres, schools & etc.

      • verification of residence of the child with the benefit recipient

      • enrolment of the beneficiary in the state’s eduction and training program or proof of employment and income sufficient, with the aid of the grant, to support the child.

      • The aim of this will be to cut down on those gaming the system

  • Where possible, the graduates of these programs will be employed in the private sector, either by the formal sector or the informal sector, as employees and entrepreneurs providing services in the many communities the housing and job creation policies seek to create, or by the public sector in a drive to improve the quantity and quality of services the state delivers to its customers, namely, the citizens of this country, in particular in health care, education, local government and transport.

  • Embark on a major program to eliminate homelessness. A homeless person is most likely to stress other public sector service providers, notably the health, social and police services, and to otherwise be a burden on society, including the perpetuation of homelessness to dependents of homeless people, so the provision to the needy of low-cost housing within caring communities, will be regarded as a matter of prime concern.

Impact of a Basic Income Grant

A Basic Income Grant will most probably change the face of social welfare in South Africa. Much if not most of social welfare funding will be replaced by a BIG. For example, child support grants, disability and old age grants will probably all be replaced by a BIG. While BIG is a grant for adult South Africans, South Africa has its own problems which while not unique, certainly need special consideration. A very big challenge is the plight of child led households. These households can be assisted either by the early granting of a BIG or by a special grant to the heads of the households (see above).

The expectation, however, is that a BIG together with an Advancement Grant will do much to empower and the impoverished and pull them from their poverty and make many independent who would otherwise be powerless recipients of social welfare. This will relieve a great deal of pressure from government and society to provide for these people.

Provider of Last Resort:

With all the above support, it is never the less likely that there will be some who fall through the net, so to speak, and will need the support of a social welfare system, but the means of funding that system will change radically with the advent of a BIG. For example, the mentally ill and physically disabled would be able to draw on their access to a BIG rather than have service providers reliant on shrinking subsidies from increasingly unsympathetic government services (see here).

Beyond that, a DDF administration would ensure that adequate services are provided by local and central government to act as a provider of last resort where the private sector are unable to satisfy the need for such services.

Conclusion:

The DDF do not think for a minute that this is going to solve all the social welfare problems facing the nation but it believes that these policies will draw more South Africans into the economy instead of being bystanders in the economy and will tap the energy and inventiveness that South Africans are noted for and contribute toward the creation of a vibrant people based economy rather than a state dependent economy, as seems to be the case at the moment.