Stakeholder perspectives on network performance in biometric payment of old age grant recipients : the KwaZulu-Natal case of uMlalazi Municipality.
Mpungose, Nelisiwe Revival.
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WPTPS vi Dissertation Abstract The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) introduced a new BPS in 2012 as a pilot project. In 2013 the Agency embarked on a process of re-registering all social grant beneficiaries. The beneficiaries were supposed to be re-enrolled into a new system. A company called Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) was awarded a five year contract to pay SASSA’s beneficiaries through the new BPS. Re-registration was obligatory for all social grant beneficiaries. This called for network governance between the two organisations, i.e. SASSA and CPS as service providers and with beneficiaries as service recipients. This dissertation research study examines the relationship between SASSA and CPS in administration of the BPS and explores the enrolment process from the perspective of OAG recipients. The study explores the factors that facilitate or hinder the effectiveness of the BPS and how SASSA and CPS interactive service delivery is evaluated. This qualitative study is guided by network performance theory. Data were collected through interviews and focus groups as well as observation and documentary evidence. Data were analysed using a combination of content, matrix and thematic analysis and subsequently triangulated. The findings reveal that there is no precise criterion that is used by either SASSA or CPS to evaluate network performance on these organisations. Despite the fact that there is a Service Level Agreement (SLA) that serves as a guiding document detailing the responsibilities of each organisation, no one seems to take charge and ensure adherence. Furthermore, it was noted from the focus groups’ responses that some of the challenges or queries raised by the OAG beneficiaries are not effectively addressed since there is no proper system in place to either lodge or respond to complaints. The pay points where beneficiaries collect their pension pay-outs do not seem to meet the minimum requirements of the pay point. Lastly, recommendations drawn from the findings include creation of suggested criteria for network performance, establishment of a dedicated team to monitor and evaluate the performance of the involved two organisations, and to perceive grant recipients as part of the network so that they too can systematically evaluate network performance. If this happened, it would ensure SLA implementation to improve the quality of service rendered to the elderly and also to ensure restoration of their dignity.