An investigation of the lived reality of the disjuncture between policy and practice in the implementation of South Africa's disability grant

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University of Cape Town

The South African constitution emphasises the right of all citizens to income security if they are unable to support themselves and their dependents. Within the current context of high unemployment and poverty, this right is even more pertinent. The Disability Grant, being the only grant available to people in their working years has been widely discussed in its role as a method of poverty alleviation as well as functioning as a de facto Chronic Illness Grant and an Unemployment Grant. Although the DG has been well researched and analysed at a policy level, it is still seen to be functioning in its de facto roles and is accepted as being a mistargeted grant. A qualitative research study was conducted and a sample (composed of Policy Informants, South African Social Security Agency staff and Disability Grant Recipients) were interviewed. The Disability Grant was analysed at both a policy and implementation level. The findings revealed flaws in both the Disability Grant Policy as well as its practical implementation. These highlight the need for transformation and a reimagining of social policy.

Includes bibliographical references.