Perceptions of beneficiaries regarding the usefulness of social grants in the case of the uMsunduzi Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal.
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This study explored social grants beneficiaries’ perceptions of the usefulness of social security nets in alleviating poverty and addressing social inequality in uMsunduzi Municipality. It analysed the cost of social security nets and the role played by government, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders in providing social welfare services, as well as beneficiaries’ perceptions of such programs. A cross-sectional research design was employed using a qualitative and quantitative methodology. A questionnaire was administered to a sample of 90 respondents and ten interviews were conducted, three with South African Social Security Agency officials and seven with grant recipients. Observation was also employed as a research technique. The data was analysed using thematic analysis and SPSS to form categories of responses. The study’s findings indicate that social grants are important in contributing to poverty alleviation in South Africa as they enable recipients to access basic necessities. However, while it was found that community members in uMsunduzi are aware of the different social security nets, the grants do not cover the cost of living. Furthermore, community members perceive the processes surrounding social security programs in South Africa as corrupt. Finally, the social security system suffers inefficiencies since it lacks a comprehensive and consolidated database to track information on recipients, leaving it open to corruption. It is thus recommended that the government should involve the private sector to create support platforms to promote effective social security programs.