South Africa cannot continue a lockdown and confront this pandemic without stronger mitigation measures like a BIG. In the midst of Covid-19, Spain is the first country to commit to rolling out a BIG as a response to the crisis and this will be a democratic systemic reform that will persist beyond the pandemic. The BIG has a history that goes back to the Enlightenment. In the 20th century many experiments and forms of BIG interventions have been tried since the 1970s in the US, Canada, Kenya, Namibia and Finland. Each of these trials where based on specific parameters: target groups, social objectives and levels of income. All the research shows positive outcomes when assessing the social efficacy for the BIG. This has ranged from more investments in human development, less stress, less health costs, greater labour market leverage for workers and less food vulnerability. In the context of the climate crisis and deep just transition the BIG is an absolutely necessary democratic systemic reform to enable the ecological restructuring of our society without harming those least responsible for the problem. If South Africa does not embrace the BIG in the context of Covid 19, together with other public goods, this will be a serious historical mistake and a missed opportunity for a more emancipated future.
individuals are invited to sign in support of the #BIGNOW for South Africa below. If you would like to endorse as an organisation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org:
List of organisational endorsements can be viewed at this link