Social security reform in the pipeline
Cape Town - Moves are afoot to improve the social security system, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini said on Friday.
South Africa had made progress towards establishing a comprehensive system of social security, she told a media briefing at Parliament.
Government's social assistance programme was extensive, and already social development had linked hundreds of social grants beneficiaries to sustainable community development projects.
The labour department would enhance the capacity of its employment services unit to link the unemployed to job opportunities, she said.
The SA Social Security Agency would set up capacity to link beneficiaries to employment opportunities created through the new growth path interventions and further education opportunities.
In the course of the next few months, South Africans would engage in a debate on further reforms of the social security system, to be published in the consolidated government discussion paper and the nature of which would have quite significant implications.
"The thrust of these reforms will be aimed at addressing a glaring defect in the system, namely the creation of statutory social insurance arrangements aimed at ensuring that income security is available during any break in employment, enhancing income smoothing, reducing poverty in old age, in the events of disability or the death of a breadwinner, increasing income replacement in retirement and incentives to increase the national savings rate," Dlamini said
The thrust of the reforms would be:
- The consolidation of social security policy making and service delivery in a more efficient and effective manner which would enhance service delivery;
- The introduction of a mandatory pension system that would encompass retirement savings, alignment of disability and survivor benefits; and
- Doing away with fragmentation and the consolidation of adjudication, disability assessment fraud detection, payment of benefits and significant improved regulations of social security.