Current Project

Basic Income Support in South Africa

In response to the government’s proposal that the Social Relief of Distress Grant will be replaced by an alternative form of household support, we are looking to contribute to policy development on this topic. As part of an ongoing research project, we will be releasing several Discussion Documents and engaging with the relevant authors in the coming months, on the topic of Basic Income Support in South Africa.

Through a combination of events and the submission of Discussion Documents, contributions will advance the current debate on development, growth, and the economics of basic income support.

The Discussion Documents will address the following questions:

  • What can we learn from the international experience on basic income support or universal income?
  • What learnings from other developing countries can we impart on South Africa?
  • What impact do social transfers have on structural poverty, and how can this be used in a South African landscape?
  • What does empirical research say about the basic income support debate, and what potential future research questions can we identify to assist South Africa’s policy design?

As this project unfolds, we will inform you about upcoming events and multimedia.

Related podcasts & Media Highlights

A basic income grant for South Africa
More money in poor people’s pockets, but at a heavy cost. Analyses ...
Roy Havemann, Hylton Hollander, Daan Steenkamp
Money Web
ANN BERNSTEIN: A risky basic income grant could come with nasty surprises
The net result of introducing a BIG will be higher taxes, slower gr...
Ann Bernstein
Business Live
How would providing UBI impact structural poverty?
This podcast adopts a refreshing view on what Universal Basic Incom...
Margaux Giannaros, Zimbali Mncube, Kelle Howson
A macroeconomic perspective of establishing a basic income grant
Adopting a broader perspective of the macroeconomics of basic incom...
Margaux Giannaros, Daan Steenkamp, Hylton Hollander

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Get Involved

We provide the opportunity for contribution from all relevant perspectives, and therefore these papers do not represent a position by ERSA, its associates, or funders on the identified issues. We hope that through this we can contribute to a more constructive and informed economic debate. We are particularly interested in hearing your thoughts and comments on these contributions. Please feel free to contact us directly or through LinkedIn. If you feel that you have a contribution or that you would like to be part of this series, please contact us directly at