First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

We write for you

It’s a public service and we refuse to erect a paywall and force you to pay for truth. Instead, we ask (nicely and often) that those of you who can afford to, become a Maverick Insider and help with whatever you can. In order for truth not to become a thing of the past, we need to keep going.

Currently, 18,000 (or less than 0.3%) of our brave and generous readers are members; which says a lot about their characters and commitment to our country. These people are paying for a free service in order to keep it free for everyone.

They are the true South AfriCANs.(Sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves.)

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

ANC to support R350 basic income grant, race parity in...

South Africa


ANC supports a basic income of R350 and proposals to ensure race parity in schools

Lindiwe Sisulu is chairperson of the ANC"s Social Transformation committee. (Photo: Gallo Images/ER Lombard)

At its national policy conference this week, the party will also hear proposals by the Women's League for the chemical castration of sex offenders to be put back on the agenda.

The ANC policy conference at the weekend will hear support for a basic income grant pegged at an initial R350.00, said Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, who chairs the party’s social transformation committee. Sisulu said the R350 social relief of distress grant had been an effective anti-poverty measure. “The basic income grant is on the table, but the Treasury warned that the cost should not escalate beyond affordability,” said Sisulu, who said it could be implemented at the same level as the SRD grant and then be increased as the fiscus could afford it.  

“We are making proposals to extend the current relief measures introduced during Covid-19 to cushion people who have no means of survival to create permanent support mechanisms for these individuals. The social grant of R350 which was given to people living below the poverty line to assist them through the Covid-19 pandemic provided meaningful relief and it worked. This has led us to believe that the much-discussed Basic Income Grant would be a welcome relief for the unemployed and vulnerable,” says the report to be tabled at the governing party’s weekend policy conference in Johannesburg. 

Housing provision

Sisulu said her Committee will table proposals for the mandatory provision of land by every municipality for housing and a package of policies. 

Chemical castration

She also said that the Women’s League would put chemical castration of repeat sexual offenders back on the agenda even though a previous party conference had thrown out the proposal. “Men completely threw out (the idea of) chemical castration. The Women’s League will put it back on the agenda,” said Sisulu, who said that she had been to Khayelitsha recently and witnessed brutal crimes against women. “It’s barbaric,” she said, adding that growing levels of gender-based violence, despite interventions in the last five years, meant South Africa was on the precipice of a crisis.  

50-50 black-white ratio in schools

The Committee will also table a proposal to ensure diversity at schools. “No school should be registered unless there is 50/50 (representation) in schools,” said Sisulu, who added that a country built a common identity by attending school and that people established bonds when they grew up. White people comprise 4.6-million out of a total 60 million South Africans and skew older, so the schools’ race target is about a small cohort of schools that are not diverse. 

According to Nic Spaull, an Associate Professor of Economics at Stellenbosch University, less than 5% of schools (private and public) charge more than R30,000 a year, indicating what proportion of schools this ANC policy proposal is likely to apply to. “I think that given the levels of inequality in South Africa and our history, it would be completely defensible for government to implement a policy requiring all high-fee schools (R30,000 and up per year), whether private or public, to accept at least 10% of learners that cannot pay fees. This would also lead to more racial diversity in some elite private schools, but more importantly, it would expand access to the functional part of the schooling system. Of course, the bigger and more important challenge is the 80% that are dysfunctional. This doesn’t get help with that problem,” said Spaull. 

See in Daily Maverick:

ANC discussion papers reveal the governing party’s dystopian vision of South Africa’s future

Teenage pregnancies and gun control

Sisulu said that teenage pregnancies, where most fathers are much older, required attention as it suggested the Committee would raise sexual abuse and statutory rape, and also gun control after recent mass shootings

The ANC policy conference indicates changes in society. Still, if the party forms the next government in 2024, the current signs are that it will win either a slim majority or head a coalition government. If it includes a coalition, the ANC must blend its policy positions with its coalition partners. DM



Comments - share your knowledge and experience

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or sign in if you are already an Insider.

Everybody has an opinion but not everyone has the knowledge and the experience to contribute meaningfully to a discussion. That’s what we want from our members. Help us learn with your expertise and insights on articles that we publish. We encourage different, respectful viewpoints to further our understanding of the world. View our comments policy here.

All Comments 8

  • We already have social grants coming out of our ears and without a system to actually help people get OUT of poverty, it is just a waste of time.

    And good luck forcing diversity in schools. That sounds like some unconstitutional nonsense. What happens when all the whites have left?

  • May I remind the Minister that there is no tax relief for private education and that many schools are marginal economically. To now attempt to impose a further economic burden on such schools is unacceptable. Social engineering was wrong under apartheid and is wrong now – it simply has too many unintended consequences and has led to a brain drain . Not smart to carry on with such failed ideology. State schools were better run before 1994 – what a terrible legacy the ANC has left for the post 1994 generation in their failed schooling system. Fix this before messing with the private sector.

  • I wonder when poor people will be able to coerce Porche, Ferrari etc. to give them a car each time one is sold to a rich person, just so that we can promote cultural and racial diversity among car owners. Maybe we can start with me – next time Dali Mpofu gets a Jaguar, the government should force Jaguar to give one to me, since I can’t afford it.

  • “50-50 black-white ratio in schools”. It would be truly impressive if Sisulu can achieve this, given that we have 5 times as many black kids as white kids. She really only opens her mouth to change which foot she shoots herself in.

  • ” it would be completely defensible for government to implement a policy requiring all high-fee schools (R30,000 and up per year), whether private or public, to accept at least 10% of learners that cannot pay fees.” Seriously, I have to know how this ‘professor’ thinks this is defensible? So now, on top of paying private school fees so my child does not suffer in poorly run govt schools, I must also support 10% of the learners who cannot pay. What has the govt done with my tax they didn’t school my child with because I never got it back even though I didn’t use it – I would have thought they’d use that money to school an underprivileged child?! So this ‘professor’s’ solution is to destroy the functioning schools who will no longer have sufficient support (many of the people paying these school fees can and will leave) or will become politicians’ childrens’ institutions & do NOTHING to improve schooling for the majority. I suspect this man has shares in an immigration agency somewhere.

  • What a crazy notion. Surely it is the township schools that are mono racial. Where are the non black pupils to be sourced? But of course it’s not about those schools but the big private centres of excellence. Actually I find this minister with her fat salary and perks suggesting that R350 bucks a month is saving the poor quite nauseating.

  • Are they going to force schools in rural areas to be more diverse? Get Indian, coloured and white kids to go there? If they force private schools to accept kids from townships who can’t afford to go there how will this work logistically? How will the kids get there? Who will be chosen to go? How will the poor kids pay for uniforms? School trips? books? extra curricular activities? I drove past my old high school a few months back its 90% black – the racial parity is happening organically – stop trying to force it where it won’t work. Regarding chemical castration – remember Kwezi? ANC women’s league vilified that poor girl for daring to accuse Zuma of rape – talk about hypocrisy. Can’t wait for this useless band of criminals who call themselves a ruling party to just whither up and die. See you in 2024.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted