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Basic Income Activism in South Africa, 1997–2019

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Political Activism and Basic Income Guarantee

Part of the book series: Exploring the Basic Income Guarantee ((BIG))

Abstract

Basic income activists have kept the idea of basic income on the edge of the policy-making agenda in South Africa for more than twenty years, but proposals have not gained significant support within the policy-making and political elite. Nor has the idea served to mobilise popular support. Crucially, both public and elite opinion remains opposed to the extension of social grants to working-age adults. Activists have framed the issue in terms of poverty-reduction, social and economic rights and development, but none of these frames has succeeded in overcoming conservative resistance. Basic income activism in South Africa has remained a largely intellectual project sustained by a small network of individuals without strong organisational or popular bases.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    https://www.blacksash.org.za/.

  2. 2.

    The Black Sash’s legislative monitoring operation became the Parliamentary Monitoring Group, whose work makes possible not only critical engagement with the legislative process but also research such as the current paper.

  3. 3.

    Jeremy Baskin, “Pay the Citizens of SA,” Mail & Guardian, 24–30 January 1997, cited in Makino (2004).

  4. 4.

    Sunday Times, 28 July 2002.

  5. 5.

    https://pmg.org.za/committee-meeting/1624/; https://pmg.org.za/committee-meeting/2551/.

  6. 6.

    http://pmg-assets.s3-website-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/docs/2003/appendices/030610cosatu-nehawu.htm.

  7. 7.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gf3n-L5FDy0.

  8. 8.

    https://www.blacksash.org.za/index.php/media-and-publications/media-statements/606-coalition-seeks-comprehensive-social-security.

  9. 9.

    Ibid.

  10. 10.

    One demonstration outside Parliament attracted several thousand participants, mostly mobilised through TAC.

  11. 11.

    Ironically, in these cases the lower courts eventually found for the government, but it was then anticipated that higher courts would have found against the government on appeal.

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Seekings, J. (2020). Basic Income Activism in South Africa, 1997–2019. In: Caputo, R.K., Liu, L. (eds) Political Activism and Basic Income Guarantee. Exploring the Basic Income Guarantee. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-43904-0_13

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-43904-0_13

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

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