Delivery of social services through state owned enterprises : the case of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) in Pietermaritzburg.
Ngwenya, Thobeka Nomcebo.
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The apartheid regime influenced the high inequality levels, which perpetuated poverty rates particularly amongst black Africans. The democratic government thus inherited a society that consisted of majority of its Black citizens who were labelled as “poor”. It is within this context of discriminatory practices by social welfare services during the apartheid period, that the South African government committed itself to redressing issues of poverty, and restructuring the social security system to be inclusive. This study aimed to investigate the challenges and successes of implementation in the delivery of social services through state-owned enterprises, as a mechanism to deliver services in South Africa. It entails a case study of the South African Social Security Agency as an example of a state owned enterprises, delegated to deliver social services. The study focused on the SASSA office in Pietermaritzburg, which is situated within Mgungundlovu District, in KwaZulu Natal. This study, therefore, proved that SASSA in PMB as a state owned enterprise has successfully been able to deliver social services, effectively and efficiently. The delivery of social services through state owned enterprises has fundamentally improved as compared to before the inception of SASSA. However, it further uncovers that there are still various challenges in the delivery of social services that impede further progress. The challenge of incapacity in the administration of social grants was seen as one of the challenges. Secondly, the biometric system of payment opened up to other corruptive actions, such as illegal deductions of the social grant. This research study took a qualitative study approach by using in-depth structured interviews to collect primary data from respondents (SASSA, Black Sash, CINDI, PADCA, and Youth For Christ). The study also used primary data from official government documents; as well as secondary data. The sample consisted of a total of nine participants for the study, SASSA officials and members of NGO’s, namely Black Sash, PADCA, CINDI and Youth For Christ. Data was analysed using the thematic content analysis, using manual coding according to the themes. The research study used word for word transcription.
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