Here's what you need to know about Mmusi Maimane's R1,200 basic income grant for the poor

The basic income grant model, called Rightful Share, will be piloted in 2021

03 November 2020 - 11:00 By unathi nkanjeni
One SA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane announced that a basic income grant model, called Rightful Share, will be piloted in 2021.
One SA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane announced that a basic income grant model, called Rightful Share, will be piloted in 2021.
Image: Twitter/Mmusi Maimane

One SA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane has unveiled plans to pilot a basic income grant in SA.

On Monday, Maimane announced that the basic income grant model, called RightfulShare, will be piloted in 2021.

The grant model is a partnership with former DA MP and founder of RightfulShare Karen Jooste.

Maimane said the grant will be rolled out in a yet to be announced rural town that “feels they have been economically excluded or are unable to make ends meet”.

It will see 120 people receiving a monthly income of R1,200 for 18 months, starting from March. Any person between the ages of 18 and 59 can apply for it.

“An applicant is assigned a ballot number and every month 10 ballot numbers are drawn at random. Each number drawn wins a 'RightfulShare' (R1,200 monthly cash grant) for 18 months. The monthly selection draws will be live-streamed,” said Maimane.

According to Maimane, the pilot project will be privately funded by initial investors, to demonstrate to the public that the model is feasible and sustainable in the long term.

He said large companies with an annual turnover of more than R50m will pay 10% of their net after-tax profit into a “Rightful Share fund”, into which the proposed grant will be paid.

“A business is 100% compliant when they have done this, and all other BEE requirements fall away. It meets the criteria of certainty, clarity and simplicity, all of which investors like, and there is no place for corruption to take place. All indirect costs associated with the implementation of BEE and compliance monitoring fall away,” Maimane said.

Maimane said small- to medium-sized businesses are not included in the model, as the threshold for compliance is for companies with an annual turnover of R50m a year or more.

“The huge growth in income and wealth disparities is morally unacceptable, hinders economic growth, and fuels corruption. Real wages have stagnated or fallen and the devastating impact of the coronavirus has exposed the dated and inept social safety net,” said Maimane.

“Economic insecurity is the order of the day. Stressed and debt-ridden, most South Africans are just trying to survive. And, on top of this, the ongoing technological revolution will undoubtedly bring more disruption. These conditions are fertile grounds for populist leaders who incite blame, violence, and racial hatred to further their own political agenda.”

Maimane said it was time to put an end to “trickle down” redress and implement direct redress to assist needy communities.

“Rightful Share is not means-tested; instead, it is rolled out in terms of standard age categories. It is paid through changing the BEE scorecard as opposed to being financed through workers' pockets and it is paid in recognition of our country's past and the changing nature of the economy and work.

“It is more about creating an equal and just society as opposed to poverty alleviation alone.”