Developing a socially inclusive management framework for sustainable social security in South Africa : the case of the Eastern Cape Province
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The social contract serves as a tacit agreement between the state and its citizens, with the citizens abiding by the statutes of their government in return for the provision of public services. This contract has a critical implication on the role that governments play in promoting the sustainable socio-economic development of their societies. In the same vein, eradicating socio-economic challenges such as poverty and inequality require government-led interventions. As a developmental state, the Republic of South Africa has various pro-poor social development policies giving effect to wedging a sustained assault on poverty and inequality. One such policy is the provision of various fiscally funded social security grants. Despite the robust statutory provisions towards promoting access to social grants, there remain some deserving poor people who are, for varying reasons, socially excluded. Such people bear the vicious force of poverty and inequality due to the inability of the social safety net to offer them a reliable shield and refuge, thereby perpetually keeping them impoverished. Social inclusion of the poor has become the Achilles heel of the SASSA particularly in the Eastern Cape Province, one of the poorest provinces in the Republic. Hampering the prospects of social inclusion in the Province are challenges linked to inter alia, the absence of community poverty profiles, poor sub-contracting arrangements and social grant fraud. In this regard therefore, the study sought to improve the managing of fiscally funded social security by developing a socially inclusive framework for the Republic of South Africa. The study utilised a qualitative research paradigm where a literature study, semi-structured interviews and questionnaires were used to gather data. The study also discussed social security management cases from the BRICS bloc to derive best practices for social inclusion in the local context. Based on this, the study proposes a framework and makes complimentary recommendations for the adoption of interventions including the improvement of oversight arrangements and intergovernmental relations to build a socially inclusive management system.
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