|dc.description.abstract||Policy implementation is an important aspect of service delivery. It is a
process that requires all the involved parties to work together. In addition, the
policy to be implemented has to be preceded by extensive planning and
capacity to ensure effective implementation. According to Parsons
(1995:465), "effective implementation requires a good chain of command and
a capacity to co-ordinate and control...".
The Child Support Grant (CSG) is one of the social security grants created by
the South African Government to offer financial support to children in need.
The CSG is the one that is widely accessed by children. This grant has
reached millions of children in South Africa since its initial implementation;
however a large number of children still do not receive this grant due to
administration problems (Skweyiya 2005:2).
This research project provides a critical analysis of the implementation of
CSG between the years 2000 and 2004. A conceptual analysis (content
analysis) of secondary studies on the implementation of the Child Support
Grant is the scope of this investigation. The study analysed the manner in
which the CSG had been implemented by the Department of Social
Development (DSD) between the years 2000 and 2004. The findings show
that there were many problems that related to the administration of the CSG.
The problems ranged from lack of capacity (human as well as organizational)
by government officials, to the mode (top-down) of implementation, the
employment of bureaucratic methods of implementing policy, lack of system
upgrade, street level bureucrats methods of implementing policies and
insufficient monitoring and evaluation by the National Department of Social
The DSD neglected to provide infrastructural support to facilitate the
additional number of beneficiaries that resulted from the extension of the CSG
to children under 14 years old.
These organizational capacity development problems manifested in the lack
of sufficient equipment in welfare offices. Many welfare offices did not have
essential equipment (such as chairs, working computers and working
telephones) needed to perform their duties. Technical resources such as
working computers and telephones are an essential part of implementation.
Lack of proper monitoring and evaluation of the administration of the Grant
has created loopholes in the system that have cost the Department about
R1.5 billion each year from 2000 to 2004.
Another problem was that there were staff shortages in most areas. In areas
where staff was available they lacked the capacity to administer the Grant. As
a result, wrong information was disseminated to the public concerning the
eligibility for the CSG. The data capturing system the Department uses,
Social Pension System (SOCPEN), had not been upgraded to handle greater
numbers of applicants. This has led to applicants not being processed, thus
affecting service delivery.
The study has shown the impacts these problems can have on policy. Due to
the manner in which policy was implemented the DSD ended up losing
money, which was intended for beneficiaries, through fraud and
maladministration. In addition to money lost, potential beneficiaries could not
access the Grant due to obstacles created by government officials as their
way of implementing policy effectively. According to Lipsky (1980:149), low
ranking street level bureaucrats create ways of coping with their duties
through simplifying their authority. This enables them to utilise their authority
and impose their job restrictions for reasons of lack of service delivery on their
Due to the scope of "allowed" discretion that street level bureaucrats can
exercise, fragmentation of policy is most often experienced during