Universal access to social security rights: can a basic income grant meet the challenge?
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Access to social assistance for those unable to support themselves and their dependants is a fundamental human right enshrined in the Constitution. In March this year, the Committee of Inquiry into a Comprehensive System of Social Security for South Africa, chaired by Prof. Viviene Taylor, released its consolidated report, entitled Transforming the present protecting the future. It recommends a range of policy measures aimed at building a comprehensive social security system in South Africa. The report's underlying philosophy is that social security reform should form part of a comprehensive social protection package. This package of developmental strategies and programmes should be designed to ensure, collectively, at least a minimum acceptable living standard for all citizens. Without such a core minimum of social provisioning, the constitutional promises of socio-economic rights, human dignity, equality and freedom will have a hollow ring.