IT is estimated that half of the South African population lives in dire poverty and we are almost 20 years since the dawn of democracy. There is rising food inflation that makes it difficult for households, in particular black communities, to afford some of the basic amenities.
To many families it becomes a struggle even to acquire basic foodstuff to survive the day.
I have been observing the election promises of different political parties that will be contesting the May elections. The basic framework for almost all political parties’ election manifestos is designed to meet mid and long term time-frames to deliver on the promises made.
It is disturbing to observe that none of the parties so far have raised the issue of the basic income grant as a key intervention to combat poverty and improve the lives of the majority of poor people. Although the basic income grant cannot be panacea for all our social ills, it is a mitigating factor to the life of hopelessness and despair confronting the majority of South Africans.
We can rely on the basic income grant in the long term goal of fighting poverty. On the other side the desperate conditions of our people require the basic income grant to provide rapid relief of the hardship and starvation facing our communities daily.
Political parties need to include the basic income grant in their electioneering strategies if they consider poverty alleviation a priority in problems facing our country today.
Mkhuseli Mtsila, Zwide, Port Elizabeth