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UBIG Factsheet Series – 2. No one left behind. Why universal basic income makes more sense than targeted grants.


First published by The Daily Vox on 30 November 2022.


A Universal Basic Income Guarantee (UBIG) is a commitment by government to ensure that everyone has a minimum level of income to meet their basic needs. This is done through a regular cash transfer or grant, that spurs development and promotes sustainable livelihoods. But the benefits of a UBIG are not just economic. A UBIG can benefit society by improving health and education outcomes, increasing social cohesion, and supporting gender equality.

Throughout this factsheet series, we present evidence to show that a UBIG can improve the lives of many millions in South Africa, but is not by itself a silver bullet. Maximising its impact requires a range of complementary interventions: amongst others, an appropriate macroeconomic framework that stimulates development; expansion of affordable, universally available public services; a coherent strategy for a just energy transition; and a well resourced high-impact industrial policy that promotes jobs rich economic diversification.

Other factsheets in the series include:

  1. Why does South Africa need a Universal Basic Income Guarantee?
  2. No one left behind: Why universal basic income makes more sense than targeted grants
  3. Jobs versus Grants: Are employment and basic income a policy trade off?
  4. How a UBIG can support healthier kids, happier adults, and lifelong learning
  5. How a UBIG can advance gender justice and social cohesion
  6. Not just a handout: How a UBIG gives people the power to prosper
  7. “But how will we pay for it?” Financing a UBIG