South Africa needs a mix of instruments to defeat poverty, inequality and unemployment. One of the most hotly debated instruments in this mix is a Universal Basic Income Guarantee (UBIG). Worsening livelihood crises in the context of the Covid19 pandemic have made UBIG an attractive route towards human wellbeing security for all. In this context, placing UBIG at the heart of the 2021/22 HSRC poverty and inequality events thus makes logical sense.
To popularise wider societal conversations about the case for a UBIG, the HSRC is co-hosting with the Institute for Economic Justice (IEJ) and #PayTheGrants a series four webinars. The first two webinars, organised around costing and design issues, brought together academic experts with public policy officials and civil society activists to debate intricate questions and evidence that inevitably arise from UBIG programmes.
Webinar #1: Can We Afford It? (20 October 2021)
Watch the recording: https://www.facebook.com/HumanSciencesResearchCouncil/videos/2847416192236409
Webinar #2: Why Does Design Matter? (3 November 2021)
Watch the recording: https://www.facebook.com/119846772271/videos/357455676148918
Both webinars exceeded our attendance and lively participation expectations. In addition to these successes, the involvement of the Department of Social Development (DSD) realised the objective of constructive dialogues on UBIG with the state agency responsible for social protection. The DSD speakers at the first two webinars repeated that UBIG is a high priority for government. Upcoming webinars in this series will unpack two more fundamental UBIG questions: What Would Be The Impact? (17 November 2021) and How Do We Get There? (1 December 2021).