Speaking on eNCA, Godongwana said government can afford a basic income grant but it will come at a cost.
According to him, social grants cost government about R400bn every year and over the next three years they will cost about R1-trillion.
“Government can afford to do so [introduce a basic income grant] at a cost. What that means is we’ll have to cut a number of social spending issues to fund it,” said Godongwana.
He said if government were to increase corporate tax to 28% and VAT to 16%, it would bring in about R60bn but that would be insufficient to fund the basic income grant.
In 2020, SACP leader Blade Nzimande called on government to convert the R350 grant into a “universal basic income guarantee”.
Nzimande said the R350 grant was a needed lifeline, and without it many households would fall into deeper distress.
“Without a basic income guarantee, without each adult in a household being able to contribute to the household income, the impact of all the ‘triple H' (health, housing and hunger) and water campaigns will be severely limited,” he said.