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Public policy and developmental imperatives: theorising governance in the case of social grants in Endumeni Local Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal=Izidingo Zenqubomgomo Yomphakathi Nezentuthuko Ukwenziwa kwenjulalwazi yezokuphatha Mayelana Nezibonelelo Zezenhlalakahle KuMasipala Wendawo Endumeni KwaZulu-Natal.

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2022

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Abstract This study assesses public policies in the domain of social grants and their developmental imperatives by theorising the governance of social grants in the jurisdiction of Endumeni Local Municipality (ELM) in the North-Western part of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). It uses a triangulation of theoretical approaches, namely, the Ecosystems Perspective (EP), Empowerment-Based Approach (EBA), and Sustainable Livelihoods Approach (SLA), for their aptness to guide this study. The interpretivist case study, exploratory qualitative design, and inductive reasoning were adopted when this study was conducted. Purposive sampling was used because only information-rich participants were selected during data collection. Data was collected through one-on-one interviews, focus group discussions (FGDs), and overt observation. Interviews were conducted with 32 beneficiaries of social grants and eight officials of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), FGDs were done with three groups of recipients of social grants, and each group had six to 12 participants who had never been part of the interviews. The observation took place in various pay points in Endumeni Local Municipality. The findings of this study show that social grants play a crucial role in addressing high levels of poverty and destitution among the poor. However, they are insufficient to cover the beneficiaries’ basic needs as they are below the prescribed minimum wage and household-food basket, and their sustainability is uncertain. This study views social grants as untenable because South Africa’s economy is fledgling, faltering and hamstrung by various socio-economic challenges that the government fails to address; as a result, this makes people disillusioned with the current government. The study recommends that a political transformation which guarantees comprehensive social protection that leads to economic freedom for every citizen is needed in South Africa for poor people to escape poverty, especially “black Africans”. It notes that patronage systems that is used when issuing tenders for disbursing social grants and corruption in the State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), such as SASSA and South African Post Office (SAPO), have compromised the distribution of social grants in Endumeni. This study recommends establishing the State Bank (SB) as the country’s distributor of social grants because a government-to-government system between SASSA and SB could speed up the process of distributing social grants at a low cost, unlike the outsourced private banks that are profit-driven. The Sustainable Social Security Model (S3M) output is a pivotal contribution to this study’s knowledge because the current social grants system inadequately empowers the beneficiaries to engage in supplementary livelihoods strategies (such as agricultural activities) to top-up social grants as these grants are insufficient to cover the needs of beneficiaries. The S3M suggests that the government must empower the beneficiaries of social grants to enhance their well-being by utilising assets such as land available in their areas to generate livelihoods as a supplementary mechanism to social grants. This requires the government to expedite the process of land expropriation without compensation for equal distribution, especially land that was unjustly confiscated from rightful owners on the basis that they were non-Europeans. Iqoqa Lolu cwaningo lwaluhlola izinqubomgomo zomphakathi emkhakheni wezibonelelo zezenhlalakahle nezidingo zezentuthuko zazo lwaphinda lwahlawumbisela ngezokuphathwa kwezibonelelo zezenhlalakahle. Mayelana nendlela yocwaningo, ucwaningo lwamukela indlelakuhumusha njengohlelomqondo yalo, nesifanekisomumo socwaningonto. Lwathola ukuthi izibonelelo zezenhlalakahle zibambe iqhaza elimqoka ekubhekaneni namazinga aphakeme obubha nokwentula phakathi kwabantu. Nokho-ke, izibonelelo zomphakathi kazenele ukubhekana nezidingongqangi zabemukelayo njengoba zingezansi kwezinga eliphansi lomholo elibekiwe nezidingo zokudla zekhaya, futhi nokuqhubeka kwazo akunasiqiniseko. Lolu cwaningo lubona izibonelelo zezenhlalakahle zibuthaka njengoba ezomnotho zaseSouth Africa zintekenteke, zimathintanyawo futhi zinqindwe kakhulu yizinselelo ezahlukene zenhlalomnotho. Lisho ukuze kube nokuqagulisana ukuthi iSustainable Social Security Model (S3M), iwumnikelo oqavile elwazini ngoba iqagula izinguquko ezimqoka ohlelweni lwamanje lwezibonelelo zezenhlalakahle, olungabalekeleli kahle hle abemukelayo. Kulokho kubheka, i-S3M iphakamisa ukuthi ukweluleka abemukela izibonelelo zomphakathi ngokusatshalaliswa kwempahla (ikakhulu umhlaba) iyisikhuthazi esimqoka ekukhiqizeni olunye uhlobo lokuziphilisa lokwengeza phezu kwezibonelelo zezenhlalakahle. I-S3M iphakamisa ukuthi izinhlelo zokukwazi ukuziphilisa ziyimpoqo ukudala uhlelo lwezibonelelo zezenhlalakahle oluqhubezekayo. Uhlelo lwezokuphepha kwezenhlalo oluqhubezekayo kufanele lwethembele ezinsizeni ezigxile emphakathini ukuthuthukisa izimo zenhlalo zabantu. Umkhakha kahulumeni osondelene kakhulu nabantu nguhulumeni wendawo, futhi lo mkhakha uyakwazi ukubamba iqhaza elimqoka ekushayeni imitheshwana eyeseka imisebenzi yokuziphilisa nokuqinisekisa ukuthi imithetho nezinqubomgomo kweminye imikhakha kahulumeni – okunguhulumeni wesifundazwe nokazwelonke – iyasetshenziswa ukuvuna abantu abahluphekayo nabasemngqangwini. Insuselakuyo iS3M igxile ebuntwini obuyindlelamcabango yobu-Afrika ethuthukisa ubunye nokunakekela abanye (abantu). Ngokusobala, izibonelelo zezenhlalakahle zingabunciphisa ububha, zihlinzeke ukubandakanyeka kwezomnotho, ukuthuthukisa ubunye kwezenhlalo, kuphinde kuthuthukise impilo yabemukelayo. Ingabhekana nokuntuleka kobulungiswa kwesikhathi esedlule emazweni amaningi, ikakhulu ezwenikazi i-Afrika, uma kwenziwe ngokubonelela ubulingiswa benhlalo.

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Doctoral Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.

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