Investigating social grant payment methods for old age grant recipients in the Western Cape

Dowman, Charles Sydney (2014-04)

Thesis (MPA)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The research focuses on social assistance within the context of the developmental state. In South Africa, the Social Assistance Act, 2004 (Act No.13 of 2004) makes provision for the administration of social assistance and the payment of social grants. The Act provides for the payment of eight grant types including the payment of the Old Age Grant (OAG). The research focuses on the OAG and the payment methods exercised by OAG beneficiaries. The South African Social Security Agency is established in terms of the South African Social Security Agency Act, 2004 (Act No. 9 of 2004) and the payment of social assistance has been transferred to the Agency. The literature review revealed that African countries in particular have followed a different path to the rest of the development world with regard to social security. There is a strong reliance on community management involvement of social protection programmes in middle Africa. The South African system is more advanced and is legislated. South Africa’s social security system is a system of targeted social grants. It makes access to social security a basic human right, as it is contained in the Bill of Rights. The rise of the developmental state after World War 11 was championed by Japan, in particular, and this rise gave effect to the Asian Miracle. A comparison of different systems in the developing context is undertaken in the study. One of the criteria from the comparison of systems is that developmental decisions should be informed by a country’s vision or longterm strategy. The research is being undertaken at a pinnacle point in the history of South Africa, in particular of the Agency responsible for the administration and payment of these grants. The SASSA introduced the SASSA debit card (Appendix I) in 2012. Beneficiaries can use this card at any store with a point of sale device to make purchases and withdraw money at selected vendors published in the SASSA merchant list on the website of the Agency. The implementation of this decentralised system is however not without disagreement about the ideal path – questions about the advantages of electronic versus cash payments; and SASSA as ‘Paymaster’ versus the use of external service providers, is still being debated. This research attempts to assist in this debate through an investigation of alternative methods to disburse social grants, with specific focus on the old age grant recipients.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die navorsing fokus op maatskaplike ondersteuning in die konteks van die ontwikkeling-gerigte staat. In Suid-Afrika, maak die Wet op Maatskaplike Bystand, 2004 (Wet No.13 van 2004) voorsiening vir die administrasie van maatskaplike bystand en die betaling van maatskaplike toelae. Die wet maak voorsiening vir die betaling van agt soorte toelae, insluitend die betaling van die ouderdomstoelaag . Hierdie navorsing was gerig op die ouderdomstoelaag en die betalingsmetodes wat vir ouderdomstoelaag begunstigdes beskikbaar is. Die Suid-Afrikaanse Maatskaplike Sekerheidsagentskap is in terme van die Suid- Afrikaanse Sosiale Sekerheidswet, 2004 (Wet No. 9 van 2004) ingestel en die betaling van maatskaplike bystand is aan hierdie agentskap oorgedra. Die literatuurstudie het getoon dat lande, veral in Afrika, ‘n ander pad as die res van die ontwikkelende wêreld ten opsigte van maatskaplike sekerheid gevolg het. Daar is ‘n groot afhanklikheid van gemeenskapsbestuur betrokkenheid by die ontwikkeling van sosiale programme in middel Afrika. Die Suid-Afrikaanse maatskaplike sekerheidstelsel is meer gevorderd en word deur wetgewing onderbou. Dit maak toegang tot maatskaplike sekerheid ‘n menslike reg, deur dit in die Handves van Menseregte te onderskryf. Die bevordering van die ontwikkeling-gerigte staat na die Tweede Wêreld Oorlog is veral deur Japan aangevoer, en die aanneem hiervan het die Asiatiese Wonderwerk bewerkstellig. ‘n Vergelyking van die verskillende stelsels in die ontwikkeling konteks word onderneem in die studie. Een van die kriteria met betrekking tot die vergelyking van die verskillende stelsels is dat die ontwikkelingsbesluite ondersteun moet word deur middel van ‘n visie of lang termyn strategie. Die navorsing vind plaas op ‘n kritieke tyd in die geskiedenis van Suid-Afrika, veral ten opsigte van die agentskap wat vir die administrasie en uitbetaling van hierdie toelae verantwoordelik is. Die Suid-Afrikaanse Maatskaplike Sekerheids agentskap het die SASSA debietkaart in 2012 uitgereik. Begunstigdes kan die kaart by enige winkel met ‘n verkooppunttoestel, soos op die lys van uitgesoekte handelaars op SASSA se webtuiste bekendgestel is, gebruik om aankope te doen of geld te onttrek. Die inwerkstelling van die gedesentraliseerde stelsel is ongetwyfeld nie bepalend en gesprekke rondom die ideale stelsel is steeds onderweg – vra rondom die voordele van ‘n elektroniese stelsel teenoor ‘n kontantstelsel; sowel as vrae om SASSA as die ‘betaalmeester’ teenoor die gebruik van eksterne diensverskaffers, duur steeds voort. Die navorsing onderneem om hierdie debat te bevorder deur ‘n ondersoek na alternatiewe betaal metodes om sosiale toelaes te versprei, met spesifieke fokus op die betaling van die begunstigdes van die ouderdomstoelaag.

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