The initial sit-in – staged by 70 members of the AoU – led to a negotiation with four delegates of the health, safety and security departments of the National Treasury, said Princess Majola, Gauteng AoU co-ordinator.
They listened to the assembly’s bid for a National Basic Income Act.
“Led by head of security, Lutendo Ramalebana, the treasury delegates have promised to revert back with their decision on the passing of such an Act on February 18 2022,” Majola said.
The negotiation follows two memoradums submitted by the Assembly of the Unemployed on 11 and 18 November 2021 respectively in which they are bidding for a National Basic Income Grant of R1500 per month for all unemployed and the informally employed between the ages of 18 and 59.
The implementation of a Basic Income Grant of R1500 per month would benefit caregivers, home-based workers and precarious workers who earn below the national minimum wage. This will bring much-needed relief to millions of South Africans who are languishing in poverty.
Potential relief for those languishing in poverty
“We are disappointed that President Cyril Ramaphosa failed to announce the implementation of a decent Basic Income Grant during the State of the Nation Address last week. In his speech, President Ramaphosa also failed to address the country’s unemployment crisis which has hit a record high at 46.6% by not tabling specific plans of action that the government is taking to create jobs, especially for the youth. Tired of repeating his false promises, the President absolved his government by telling the nation that ‘government does not create jobs. business creates jobs,” the organisation stated in a statement to the public.
Some of the AoU’s other bids include a proposal that the Child Support Grant be increased to R585 per month and that the Government must institute a Wealth Tax to raise at least R160bn and clamp down on profit sharing and wage evasion which cost the country billions in lost taxes and wages.
The AoU also protested against budget cuts.
The government must work with communities to ensure access to land and food security, the organisation said.