Victor Chikadzi, Sarah Mafetsa


At the dawn of democracy in South Africa in 1994 the government inherited a welfare system that was fragmented because of apartheid institutional arrangements. Collaboration between different government departments and organisations within civil society was almost non-existent. A silo culture was prevalent as a result of haphazard service delivery efforts, which led to ineffective and inefficient service delivery. Given the disjointed nature of service delivery within social welfare as well as other sectors of the economy, urgent measures were needed to ensure that the population benefits from well-coordinated and holistic service delivery efforts (White Paper for Social Welfare, 1997). It is in this context that the notion of integrated service delivery (ISD) became a national buzzword. There was political pressure for government departments as well as organisations within civil society to ensure that integration of services was promoted at all costs. As a part response to this call, the Department of Social Development (DSD) introduced the idea of networking forums. Several government departments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) participate in these networking forums. Monthly meetings are held where stakeholders from different NGOs and government departments discuss and formulate coordinated responses to service delivery within particular geographical areas of operation. Thus, through these monthly meetings a platform for networking between NGOs, the DSD and other government departments is created which allows sharing of information and initiation of coordinated efforts in serving the communities within their demarcated radius of operation. This article examines how these networking forums pioneered by the DSD have been instrumental in enhancing integrated service delivery.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15270/49-4-40


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