18 Jul 2016 14:34pm
WINDHOEK, 18 JUL (NAMPA) A Basic Income Grant (BIG) for Namibians living in poverty should be regarded as the solution to the social problem rather than a food bank, Nudo Party Youth League acting Secretary-General Veparura Kandirikirira has said.
Speaking to Nampa in a recent interview, Kandirikirira said the food bank programme does not provide much of a solution to sustain the lives of the poor as they may choose to sell the food aid from Government.
The young politician, who strongly opposed the recently launched food bank programme, said Government should also not have to choose what people eat; instead they should decide for themselves.
He however also acknowledged that the idea of the BIG may have many flaws as people may decide to use the money for other purposes like alcohol consumption and not to sustain themselves, while the grant would be an indication that Government has played its part in meeting the poor halfway.
Kandirikirira was speaking to this news agency about his vision to address social challenges and contribute to Government efforts against poverty.
About 27 500 residents in Windhoeks Tobias Hainyeko Constituency benefited from the first round of the food bank when it was launched on 30 June 2016.
The beneficiaries received a packed parcel of food which included maize meal; tinned fish; corned beef; cooking oil; beans; packets of yeast; bread flour; brown sugar; and soap. One parcel is valued at about N.dollars 550.
These beneficiaries are from households where all members are unemployed or receive State social grants, but whose household monthly income per capita is below N.dollars 400.
The BIG proposal, which was turned down by Government in 2006, proposes paying each Namibian N.dollars 100 a month from birth until the age of 59, as by the age of 60, they would benefit from their State pensions.
A BIG pilot project commenced in the Otjivero-Omitara area, about 100 kilometres east of Windhoek, in 2008. All residents below the age of 60 years received the N.dollars 100 grant per person per month, without any conditions attached.
The grant was given to every person registered as living there in July 2007, whatever their social and economic status.