Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said on Monday that government was looking at implementing a basic income grant to cushion the blow post-COVID-19.
During a media briefing, Zulu said that government needed to come up with a funding model because people would be poor without jobs after the pandemic ended.
The lockdown has already left many people jobless and dependent on government food parcels.
Minister Zulu said that the impact of COVID-19 would continue to be felt for a long time, especially by the poor and unemployed, and government could not allow people to starve.
Zulu said that they needed to find ways to mitigate the long-term effects of the virus.
“Looking for alternative ways to phase in what over time we are proposing. And may I clearly say this will cost billions but we need to be able to say what do we do to cushion our people so that they have something in their pocket, they can take care of the family, they can go out and look for jobs.”
But with a public purse that has been stretched thin, Zulu admitted it would not be easy to find the billions they needed to implement the basic income grant.