South Africa’s ANC to Finalize Policy on Income Grant by 2026

(Bloomberg) -- South Africa’s ruling African National Congress will finalize a comprehensive policy on universal credit within two years should it return to power after next week’s election.

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The party will use the existing Social Relief of Distress Grant as the foundation for the transition to a permanent basic income payment, ANC spokeswoman Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

“To address the exclusion of a large number of people, we will improve the value of the grant and extend it to reach more beneficiaries,” she said. “The ANC recognises that the basic income support should complement, not replace, existing social security mechanisms.”

The party issued the statement a week before voters head to the polls in what’s expected to be the tightest election since the end of apartheid three decades ago. Opinion polls suggest the ANC will lose its national majority for the first time since 1994 because of voter dissatisfaction over the government’s handling of the economy, amid growing inequality and record unemployment.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said in January that there’s a “strong case” for universal credit despite the nation’s fiscal constraints.

Read More: South Africa’s Ramaphosa Hints at Income Grant as Vote Nears

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