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The Basic Income Grant: Poverty, Politics and Policy-making

by Ravi Naidoo

31 October 2002

Presented at the Harold Wolpe Lecture Series, University of Natal

Published with permission of the author.
© National Labour and Economic Development Institute (NALEDI)
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The concept of a Basic Income Grant is at the heart of an intense debate in our society, a debate that is revealing much about South Africa's post-1994 class transformation. This is a debate that increasingly reflects the balance of forces for and against redistribution in what remains one of the most economically unjust countries in the world.

I am pleased to be able to give this Harold Wolpe lecture on the B.I.G., which is truly a BIG debate in every sense of the word, and which I predict will remain so for as long as South Africa continues to experience conditions of mass poverty and inequality.

In the time available, I will be talking to the following points:
  1. Mass poverty as reality
  2. What are the alternatives to a BIG?
  3. What did the Taylor Committee propose?
  4. The BIG: technical issues
  5. The BIG: politics
  6. A concluding thought

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