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Corruption and social grants in South Africa

Reddy, Trusha
June 4, 2015

Source: (2009) Monograph 154, Institute for Security Studies.

The monograph is structured around three broad themes, which divide it into three interlinked chapters. The first chapter, after the methodological approach, sets the strategic context in which the DSD’s [Department of Social Development] anti-corruption efforts evolved. This includes a reflection on the apartheid system and its role in the current corruption tensions in the social assistance system. The examination then turns to the 1994 transition to a new democratic era, which saw the proclamation of basic constitutional rights for all South Africans (including the right to social security), corrective legislation on social assistance, and increased social assistance provisions both in terms of budget and recipients. The final overview in the first chapter is of the DSD’s early attempts to identify corruption and administrative problems, which involved the appointment of various committees of investigation. The second chapter traces the DSD’s subsequent measures in response to monetary losses because of fraud and corruption. The chapter is not an exhaustive discussion of every anti-corruption initiative, but rather a highlight of the most significant recent developments and the lessons that can be learnt from them… The final chapter is a provincial, micro-level analysis in the form of a case study on the Eastern Cape Department of Social Development. It should be noted that it is not meant to provide generalisations about anti-corruption efforts in the rest of the country. That would require a review of more than one province. However, the numerous anti-corruption interventions in the Eastern Cape make it hard to discount it as an extremely compelling area of enquiry… This is a targeted qualitative approach with a premise to understanding an important service delivery sector’s efforts to tackle corruption. (excerpt)


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