The Black Sash is committed to helping South Africa realise a comprehensive social security system. Under current legislation, some of South Africa’s most vulnerable populations, including the chronically ill, the structurally unemployed, and those working in the informal sector, are excluded from the assistance that they desperately need. In addition, poor service delivery, fraud, and the South African Social Security Agency’s lack of infrastructure are additional obstacles that make it increasingly difficult for those who qualify for assistance to receive it.
Over the past decade, modest improvements have been made to South Africa’s social security framework. Most notably, the South African Social Security Agency was established to oversee the administration of all social assistance grants. In addition, eligibility for the Child Support Grant was extended to the age of 18. However, despite these changes, there is still much work to be done. The current system is fragmented and fails to fulfill South Africa’s constitutional mandate that guarantees social security for all.
While the Black Sash understands that the government must make tough financial decisions, we feel that a comprehensive social security system is essential in fighting South Africa’s high unemployment and poverty rates. In the wake of these tough economic times, it is more important than ever that South Africa’s social safety net support those that are most vulnerable.
Civil Society continues to wait for government to release its vision for a comprehensive Social Security system for South Africa. This proposal was promised in the budget speech of the President this year. Below you will find links to important social security documents which embody past proposals by government and civil society alike, as well as relevant social science research.