Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu says discussions on the mooted Basic Income Grant beyond October are in early stages.

Zulu said this when she briefed members of Parliament in the National Assembly while outlining the department’s budget priorities for the year ahead on Friday.

“As we consider multiple ways to extend the social protection coverage to those aged 18 to 59 years in the period beyond October 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic is bringing back the discussion about the Basic Income Grant.

“The lack of social protection coverage for this group calls for an acceleration of efforts to put in place an inclusive and responsive social security system that we envisaged in the National Development Plan (NDP),” said the Minister.

She said discussions are currently in the early stages.

“We look forward to working with the members of this House to shine a spotlight on this important issue and thereby advancing solutions to ensure that no one among our people is left behind,” she said.

Zulu’s remarks come on the back of government’s decision to offer citizens social relief in order to weather the unprecedented storm.

Addressing a virtual sitting of the National Assembly, Zulu said Cabinet decided on the R250 emergency top-up for all social security grant types, including the once-off top-up of R350 for the Child Support Grant.

“Likewise, the payment of R500 to primary caregivers of eligible children was approved. These emergency responses represent government’s continued provision of significant relief where and when it is needed most.