SADC BIG campaign – the Southern African Development Community Basic Income Grant Campaign – launched their socioeconomic rights project on 20th September 2016.
SADC states are: South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, United Republic of Tanzania, Malawi, Angola, Zambia, Mozambique, Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar, Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho.
Fact Sheet for the campaign: http://spii.org.za/sadcbigcampaign/index.php/sadc-big-campaign-fact-sheet/
by: Nkateko Chauke, SADC BIG campaign coordinator
The SADC BIG Coalition invites your organization or you in your individual capacity to join with us in our bold call to support the campaign for a universal SADC- wide cash transfer in the form of a Basic Income Grant (BIG) to be paid to every SADC resident, funded predominantly from proceeds on extractive industries but also other funding sources.
The Goal of the Campaign: The roll-out of a universal SADC BIG to all SADC residents including refugees, economic migrants and asylum seekers by 2020.
The Campaign draws on principles of economic and social justice, including tax justice and the fact that the proceeds of extractive industries in SADC need to be more fairly distributed to break the crippling levels of poverty and inequality that exist in the region and to provide the necessary investment by our governments in human capital development through universal social protection.
The Need: The SADC Basic Income Grant Coalition shares a common vision to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality in SADC. The introduction a SADC BIG is a crucial intervention to combat poverty and to improve the lives of the majority of vulnerable SADC residents, and grow solidarity to include social cohesion within the sub-region as we continue efforts to create economic opportunities in the region.
A Basic Income Grant would provide rapid and sustained relief to all SADC citizens by:
- providing everyone with a minimum level of income;
- enabling the regions poorest households to better meet their basic needs;
- stimulating equitable economic development;
- promoting family and community stability; and
- Affirming and supporting the inherent dignity of all.
The Principles: The SADC BIG Campaign is founded on the following fundamental principles:
- Universal Coverage: It should be available to everyone and should not be subject to a means test.
- Relationship to existing grants: It should expand the social security net. No individual should receive less in social and assistance grants than before the introduction of the Basic Income Grant.
- Amount: The grant should be no less than US$15.00 per person per month on introduction and should be inflation indexed.
- Delivery Mechanisms: Payments should be facilitated through Public Institutions. using for example community Post Banks and would have the additional benefit of enhancing community access to much-needed banking services and promote financial inclusion
- Financing: A substantial portion of the cost of the grant should be funded through a tax on extractives. Other funding options include progressive recovery through the tax system above the income tax threshold.