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Poverty in a South African township: The case of Kwakwatsi



South Africa’s world revered democratic transition lies more than a decade in the past, a period long enough to evaluate past achievements and challenges. The study reported here provides a snapshot like view of poverty in a South African township. The results are based on a household survey using questionnaires. Two poverty lines (lower and upper bound) were used to measure poverty in the area; R322 per capita per month as the "lower-bound" poverty line and R593 per person per month as the "upper-bound" poverty line. Of the sampled households, 50% where found to be poor using the lower bound poverty line, and 77% when using the upper bound poverty line. On average, poor households have an income shortage of 56% of their poverty line when using the lower bound poverty line. From a policy perspective, developing an economy involves efforts that seek to improve the economic wellbeing and quality of life of all its inhabitants. A considerable number of people in the area fail to have a decent standard of living. Information provided through the study is at the household level and aims at highlighting poverty trends among urban residents in South Africa.
African Journal of Business Management Vol.6 (33), pp. 9504-9509, 22 August, 2012
Available online at
DOI: 10.5897/AJBM12.619
ISSN 1993-8233 ©2012 Academic Journals
Full Length Research Paper
Poverty in a South African township: The case of
T. J. Sekhampu
School of Economics, North-West University, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa. E-mail:
Tel: +2716 910 3408.
Accepted 29 June, 2012
South Africa’s world revered democratic transition lies more than a decade in the past, a period long
enough to evaluate past achievements and challenges. The study reported here provides a snapshot
like view of poverty in a South African township. The results are based on a household survey using
questionnaires. Two poverty lines (lower and upper bound) developed by Statistics South Africa were
used to measure poverty in the area; R322 per capita per month as the "lower-bound" poverty line and
R593 per person per month as the "upper-bound" poverty line. Of the sampled households, 50% where
found to be poor using the lower bound poverty line, and 77% when using the upper bound poverty
line. On average, poor households have an income shortage of 56% of their poverty line when using the
lower bound poverty line. From a policy perspective, developing an economy involves efforts that seek
to improve the economic wellbeing and quality of life of all its inhabitants. A considerable number of
people in the area fail to have a decent standard of living. Information provided through the study is at
the household level and aims at highlighting poverty trends among urban residents in South Africa.
Key words: Poverty, household, township, South Africa.
South Africa’s successful political transition following
apartheid raised hopes of an economic future
characterised by broadly shared growth and greater
access of the majority of the population to economic
opportunities, hence jobs. Economic policies have been
geared towards ensuring macro-economic stability (with
considerable success) and increasing access to basic
social services, especially education and health (Bhorat
and Kanbur, 2008).
The government has also undertaken initiatives with
the ultimate goal of promoting equitable distribution of
economic benefits across the population. The alleviation
of poverty and its associated social ills has been at the
heart of post-apartheid South Africa’s policy
pronouncements. This is much more evident in the 1994
reconstruction and development programme document,
and the 1996 constitution (RSA, 1996; ANC, 1994). The
South African Constitution (1996) and the White paper on
Local Government (1998) encourage initiatives which
seek to address poverty, unemployment and
redistribution in local areas (Nel and Humphrys, 1999).
Various legislative, institutional and administrative
reforms have been undertaken to create an environment
conducive for the improvement of the quality of life of all
South Africans. However, there is still a large majority of
South Africans living in dire socio-economic conditions.
The understanding of the dynamics of urban townships
lies at the heart of unravelling South Africa’s economic
transformation. South Africa’s historical circumstances
have shaped the present configuration of poverty and
opportunities along racial lines. Disadvantaged groups
were systematically left with relatively little in the way of
land and other resources, were not afforded education of
a quality comparable to that of whites, and were
compelled to adopt coping strategies (Aliber, 2001). A
large proportion of the workers from the townships have
to travel these long distances to their workplaces.
Statistics show that the urban areas have continued to
grow at unprecedented rates. A period between 1996 and
2001 saw 5.5 million people moving to urban areas, a
rate of more than a million a year (News24, 2008). The
rapid growth of cities strains their capacity to provide
services such as energy, education, health care,
transportation, sanitation and physical security. This
result in governments having less revenue to spend on
the basic upkeep of cities and the provision of services,
thus results in cities that become areas of massive
sprawl, serious environmental problems, and widespread
poverty (UN, 1995).
The problem of poverty and unemployment has serious
consequences for economic development particularly in
urban areas, and has to be examined at the community
level; more so at the people-based level in order to
encourage viable projects for eradicating the scourges of
unemployment and poverty. The formulation of effective
poverty eradication strategies requires an understanding
of the dynamics of poor households. In order to assess
how far a country has come in the eradication of poverty,
there must be adequate inquiries from time to time in the
form of social surveys which adopt certain definite
standards of measurement (Townsend, 1979). A
snapshot-like profile of poverty at a particular point in
time is a useful tool for presenting basic information of
this nature.
This study provides a micro-economic analysis of
poverty in a South African township of Kwakwatsi.
Kwakwatsi is a residential township in the northern region
of the Free State Province. The area is a semi urban
residential township for the town of Koppies. Koppies is
located approximately 200 km south of Johannesburg.
The population size of Kwakwatsi is estimated at 13 226
persons. There are 3 443 official residential sites, of
which 3019 are occupied. The strategic national railway
line from the Cape provinces to Gauteng province passes
through Koppies. The area is part of the Ngwathe
Municipality, with its head office in Parys. The aim was to
determine the state of affairs in terms of poverty.
This study was based on a household survey using
questionnaires. Poverty is defined and then measured for
the sampled population. Subsequently, the study
provides a theoretical basis for the study. The
methodology followed will then be explained. The results
will be followed by a discussion and conclusion of the
empirical findings.
Economic development thought has historically focused
on inequalities between the poor rural and better off
urban populations (Wratten, 1995). This stems from a
predisposed assumption that urbanisation lied at the
developing world’s poverty solution. The belief was that
the transfer of labour from low productivity subsistence
agriculture to the high productivity modern manufacturing
industry would create employment opportunities, thereby
poverty alleviation.
Research in the 1990s showed a greater diversity in
Sekhampu 9505
the extent and depth of poverty within urban populations
in the Third World. A comparison of international and
even national estimates of poverty with specific studies of
urban centres showed wide discrepancies (Mitlin, 1995).
This could largely be due to the fact that nationally set
poverty lines are unrealistically low when applied to urban
centres. The cost of living differs widely between rural
and urban areas, and even between the different urban
centres. This in itself necessitates the definition of
specific poverty lines for different locations (Slabbert,
Another important consideration is the asset base of
people in different locations. In rural areas, cattle and
crops can act as assets which can reduce the
vulnerability of households. For urban inhabitants, the
only asset is their labour or the number of household
members who are able to work. The previous mentioned
differences between urban and rural areas make it
important to consider different cut-off levels in respect to
poverty, but also to define specific thresholds for different
urban and rural locations (Wratten, 1995).
The concept of poverty has been a subject of debate
for as long as humanity has existed. This is because
poverty can mean different things to different people. In
popular discourse, poverty is a concept that captures a
range of meanings. Poverty has usually been
conceptualized as a state of being, characterized by a
lack of income that leads to an inability to provide an
adequate level of basic necessities. While ultimately
income is important, the critical underlying resources that
produce income are the assets that the poor have access
to and control over in pursuing their livelihood strategies.
The definition and measurements of poverty are related
both to each other and to other pertinent issues such as
the perceived causes of and the solutions to poverty. The
ways in which politicians, citizens and experts view the
problem of poverty have very different and diverse roots
in social, political and philosophical dialogues.
Present day poverty understanding draws on complex
and sometimes contradictory underlying assumptions
about what people are supposed to need in order to live a
minimally human life; about the obligations between
individuals and society, about the relation between have
and have not, ill-being, well-being and suffering; and
about social life and individual agency (Du Toit, 2005:
15). Generally, recognising what something means in
practice is much easier than defining or analysing it. The
classification of people as poor or in need therefore
requires a clear understanding of what that entails
(Spicker, 1992).
Poverty can generally be construed in a narrow or
broad sense. In the narrowest sense it means lack of
income. In a broader sense poverty can be seen as
multidimensional, encompassing other issues such as
housing, health, education, access to services and to
other avenues of accessing resources. Poverty can also
be construed in a minimalist or more expansive way: the
9506 Afr. J. Bus. Manage.
most minimalist way is to consider people who are poor
as being those who are unable to survive even in the
short term that is people who are utterly without the
means of survival. A more expansive understanding of
poverty is that people are poor if they are unable to
participate in society as full citizens (Studies in Poverty
and Inequality Institute, SPII, 2007: 10).
An understanding of the cause of poverty and devising
strategies to reduce it is a central component of the
definition of poverty. Recognition thereof reinforces
appreciation of the difficulties of the problem and serves
as a reminder that a search for strategies and an
understanding of poverty draws on the wider body of
knowledge accumulated in the general field of
development. The World Bank (2001) defines poverty as
a situation where one lacks command over commodities
that are deemed essential to constitute a reasonable
standard of living in a society or the lack of ability to
function in a society. This definition also emphasizes
command over resources as well as the lack of
participation or voice in governance and civil matters.
The complex reality of poverty makes it difficult to
capture the nature of this phenomenon by means of
either a single unit or multidimensional definition or
measure. The different existing definitions and measures
take into account an uncharacteristic nature of poverty.
Each definition contains a part of truth, but no single
definition holds the full truth in defining poverty (Fusco,
2003: 5). The main measures of poverty, which are used
in this study, are the headcount index, and the poverty
gap ratio.
Survey design and data analysis measures
A survey was undertaken for the collection of household data for
the study. Maps were obtained for Kwakwatsi and sample
stratification was designed on account of the geographical
distribution and concentration of people in the areas. A
questionnaire was designed for obtaining the desired information.
The area was divided into the different extensions and the
questionnaires were apportioned evenly among the inhabited sites.
Plots/sites at which field workers were supposed to complete
questionnaires were identified individually from the map before the
field workers went out. However, where people could not be
obtained for an interview, or where it was impossible to trace the
house, a next pre-selected household was interviewed.
Information was obtained from the breadwinner or the spouse. A
total of 190 households were interviewed by four fieldworkers.
Almost all the households approached were willing to partake in the
survey and 180 questionnaires were completed in May 2010.
Following the guidelines of the World Bank (1990), a poor
household is defined as a household of which the combined income
of all its members is less than the Household subsistence Level
(HSL) as determined for the specific household. If the combined
income of a household is described by yi and the poverty line (HSL)
of the same household is described by z
, the extent of poverty, P
of this household is described by Pi (y
; z
When calculating national poverty lines as a statistical measure,
the most common approach is to estimate the cost of a minimum
basket of goods that would satisfy the necessary daily energy
requirement per person over a period of a month. Statistics South
Africa (2007a) writes that the daily energy requirement, as
recommended by the South African Medical Research Council
(MRC) is 2261 kcal per person. Statistics South Africa estimated
that when consuming the kinds of foodstuff commonly available to
low-income South Africans, it costs R322 per person every month
to satisfy a daily energy requirement of 2261 kilocalories. Statistics
South Africa regarded R322 per capita per month as the lower
bound poverty line.
An upper bound poverty line of R593 was further estimated. The
remaining R271 added to the lower bound poverty line is meant for
obtaining non-essential non-food items. For this study, the two
poverty lines as developed by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA)
(2007a) were used comparably; R322 as the lower bound poverty
line and R593 as the upper bound poverty line.
Ravallion (1998) suggests an upper and lower bound for the non-
food poverty line. The lower bound non-food poverty line is
estimated by calculating the mean amount spent on non-food items
for those households whose total expenditure is close to the food
poverty line and then adding this mean amount to the food poverty
line. The reasoning here is that, assuming food and caloric
sufficiency is one of an individual’s most basic needs, any items
that divert expenditures away from food to the extent that, on
average, the individual is not consuming the minimum number of
calories per day, must be basic necessities.
The headcount index is defined as the fraction of the population
below the poverty line. In this study, the headcount index was
adapted to indicate the fraction of households that fall below their
individual poverty lines. The individual household member’s income
is added together and a poverty line based on the number of
household members is then calculated. A household is deemed
poor if the combined income of its members falls below the poverty
The poverty gap usually measures the average shortfall of the
incomes of the poor from the poverty line while the poverty gap
index measures the extent of the shortfall of incomes below the
poverty line. To provide for a household based analysis of poverty,
the poverty gap was adapted to be a measure for a specific
This part of the study presents the findings of the study.
The information obtained is at household level and is
meant to the trends among township dwellers in a South
African context.
Poverty in Kwakwatsi
The headcount index for the sample population is
calculated at 0.50 and 0.77 using the lower and upper
bound poverty line, respectively. This means that 77% of
the sampled households’ income was found to be below
their respective poverty line when using R593 as the
poverty line.
The severity of poverty depends on the distribution of
the poor below the poverty line. Figure 1 show the
distribution of poor households below the poverty line.
The figure shows that poverty is deep rooted in the area.
Of the poor population 61% are earning income less than
50% of the poverty line using the lower bound poverty
Sekhampu 9507
Figure 1. Distribution of the poor below the poverty line.
line. The figure also shows that 16% of the poor are
earning income between 0 and 10% of their income using
the lower bound poverty line. Analysis using the upper
bound poverty shows that 14% of the sample population
was earning incomes which are less than 10% of their
poverty line. As an example, if a particular household’s
poverty line is calculated at R 1000, this would mean that
the particular household’s total income is between R 0
and R 100 (0 10% of the poverty line).
The poverty gap is the mean shortfall of the total
population from the poverty line (counting the non-poor
as having zero shortfall), expressed as a percentage of
the poverty line; it adds up the extent to which individuals
on average fall below the poverty line, and expresses it
as a percentage of the poverty line. This measure reflects
the depth of poverty as well as its incidence. The poverty
gap can also be interpreted as an indicator of the
potential for eliminating poverty by targeting transfers to
the poor. The minimum cost of eliminating poverty using
targeted transfers then becomes the sum of all the
poverty gaps in a population; every poverty gap is filled
up to the poverty line (Ravallion, 1992).
The poverty gap index for Kwakwatsi is calculated at
0.57 using the survey data. This means that on average,
poor households have an income shortage of 56% of
their poverty line, when using the lower bound poverty
line. The average monetary shortfall per poor household
was calculated at R732 and R1432, for the lower bound
and upper bound poverty line, respectively. This
represents the average amount needed by a poor
household to make up the difference between average
household income and the poverty line.
Demographic information of sampled households
The demographic information affords an understanding of
the household structures of the sample population. The
classification of the population from different angles could
be a reflective measure of the area’s resources and of
the availability and distribution of such resources. These
demographics form an important part of the government’s
development mandate since households provide the
labour for the production of goods and services, and also
consume the final output of production. In addition, the
size of a particular population is an important determinant
of the socio-economic needs of the population. The
results of the study showed a high average household
size (four) for Kwakwatsi. This is in comparison with the
average household size of three members for Ngwathe
Municipality as a whole (Stats SA, 2007b). The majority
(53.8%) of the sampled population was female, and
46.2% are male.
Regarding the composition of households in terms of
the status of members of the family, the survey results
showed that 12.9% of household members are fathers,
compared with 21% mothers. For the poor (using the
upper bound poverty line), the mother to father
composition was 20.4 to 12.6%, respectively. This
indicates an increased likelihood of single parenting
amongst the poor. The percentage of sons and daughters
in the sample population was 16.4 and 17.8%,
0 - 10
Household income as a percentage of the poverty line
Lower bound poverty line
Upper bound poverty line
Percentage (%)
0 - 10
Household income as a percentage of the poverty line
Lower bound poverty line
Upper bound poverty line
Percentage (%)
9508 Afr. J. Bus. Manage.
Figure 2. Sources of household income.
respectively. There were more female (53.8%) than male
(46.2%) household members. The majority of households
were headed by males (63%), while 32% were female-
headed households. There were instances where older
children (5%) had to take the responsibility of family
headship due to lack of parents.
Sources of household income
The respondents were asked about the sources of
household income. Figure 2 shows the different sources
of household income. Government grants seem to play
an important role in the livelihood of the poor as make up
more than 70% of household’s income. The state’s old-
age grant, which is received by people aged 60 and
older, contributes 41% to household income for a poor
household (aggregated using the upper bound poverty
line). For the total population, the major contributor to
household income was salaries / wages (46%).
Perceptions of poverty
The study also collected data on the perceptions of the
respondents regarding their poverty status. This is
important as it recognizes the poor value judgment regar-
ding their socio-economic conditions. Without mention of
any reference group, the respondents were asked
whether they consider themselves poor. Of those who
were found to be poor (using the upper bound poverty
line), 40% said that they consider themselves poor, while
60% said no.
Holman (1978: 16) asserts that people tend to
habitually judge themselves against a reference group.
The poor do the same, having a standard they would like
to attain, failing which, they see themselves as poor.
When it comes to the question of whether they have
enough income to support their family, 32% said that they
do; with 68% saying that their income is not adequate for
the needs of their families.
The aim of the study reported in this article was to
provide a snapshot-like view of poverty in a South African
township. The results are based on a household survey
using questionnaires. Two poverty lines developed by
Statistics South Africa were used as an indication of the
minimum level needed for a household to be regarded as
The study showed that poverty is high amongst the
sampled households of Kwakwatsi. The headcount index
was calculated at 0.50 and 0.77, using the lower and
upper bound poverty line, respectively. On average, poor
State old-age
Child support
Help in kind
Poor (Lower bound poverty line)
Poor (Upper bound poverty line)
Total Sample
Percentage (%)
State old-age
Child support
Help in kind
Poor (Lower bound poverty line)
Poor (Upper bound poverty line)
Total Sample
Percentage (%)
households have an income shortage of 56% of their
poverty line when using the lower bound poverty line. The
average monetary shortfall per poor household was
calculated at R732 and R1 432, for the lower bound and
upper bound poverty line, respectively.
The respondents were asked whether they consider
themselves poor. Of those who were found to be poor
when using the using the upper bound poverty line, 40%
said that they consider themselves poor. Deaton (1997:
5) cautions against over-emphasizing these approaches
above tested tools of measurement, pointing out that
there are cases where accepting someone's own
assessment of his/her own standard of living could be
misleading. He says that people may be accomplices in
their own deprivation due to social acceptance of certain
situations. He further gives an example that if some
villagers believe that someone who has no sons is poor,
no policy can be developed to eradicate this poverty.
The World Bank (2001) reports that extensive poverty
has lasting harmful effects on society. Poverty is found to
result in hunger, malnutrition, poor physical status and
increased health care costs, which undermines economic
growth at large. In addition, poverty negatively affects
cognitive functioning, leading to the inattentiveness of
learners, which militates against their later success.The
challenge of the new South Africa has been that of
creating wealth and reducing the scourges of poverty for
all its inhabitants. There is a pro-poor rhetoric but this is
not translated into specific outcomes at household level
for many South Africans. The extent of poverty in
Kwakwatsi indicates to an unsustainable economy with
no productive activity.
From a policy perspective, developing an economy
involves efforts that seek to improve the economic
wellbeing and quality of life for a community by creating
and/or retaining jobs and supporting or growing incomes
and the tax base. Poverty reduction is seen by many
policy-makers as the most important goal of development
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... Hane reisi bu açıdan önemli bir yer temsil etmektedir. Haneyi yöneten reisin kadın olması yoksullukla ilgili çalışmalarda sık sık ele alınan önemli bir faktör olmuştur (Smajic ve Ermacora, 2007;Sekhampu, 2012;Moghadam, 1997;Jayamohan ve Kitesa, 2014;Barros, Fox ve Mendonca, 1997). 'e göre Amerika'da 1950'lerde kadın reisli hanelerin oranı %10 civarında iken 1970'lerde bu oran %14 civarına yükselmiştir. ...
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Özet 21. yüzyılın en büyük sorunlarından biri yoksulluktur. Sürekli değişen ve gelişen dünyada yoksulluğun gerçekte ne olduğu konusu çözüme kavuşmadığı için mücadelede tam bir başarı elde edilememektedir. Bir toplumda yaşayan herkes yoksulluktan aynı düzeyde etkilenmemektedir. Bazı dezavantajlı gruplar için yoksulluğun boyutu ve hissedilen yoğunluğu farklılık göstermektedir. Toplumsal cinsiyet bazında ele aldığımızda kadının hissettiği yoksulluk erkeğin hissettiğinden yüksek olmaktadır. Bunun öncelikli nedeni, toplumun kadın ve erkeğe atfettiği yaşamsal rollerdir. Bununla birlikte aile yapısı, eğitim, işgücüne katılım, ücret farklılıkları gibi bazı faktörler kadın yoksulluğunu daha da derinleştirmektedir. Bu çalışmanın amacı yoksulluğun kadın yüzünü ortaya koymaktır. Bu nedenle öncelikli olarak kadın yoksulluğunu belirleyen faktörler araştırılmıştır. Daha sonra Türkiye İstatistik Kurumu (TÜİK) 2019 Gelir ve Yaşam Koşulları Araştırması (GYKA) verileri kullanılarak Türkiye'de genel ve cinsiyet bazlı yoksulluk oranları hesaplanmıştır. Elde edilen sonuçlara göre toplam nüfusun %21.3'ü yoksulluk sınırının altında yaşamaktadır. Cinsiyet bazında kadın nüfusunun %21.8'i, erkek nüfusunun ise %20.8'i yoksulluk sınırının altındadır. Literatüre bağlı olarak Türkiye'de yoksul kadınların yoğunlaştığı durumlar incelenmiştir. Buna göre yoksul kadınların çalışma çağında olduğu, daha çok tarımsal alanlarda, sosyal güvenceden mahrum bir şekilde ücretsiz aile işçisi konumunda istihdam edildiği, düşük eğitimli ve genellikle hane reisi erkek olan çekirdek ailelerde yoğunlaştığı sonucuna ulaşılmıştır. Abstract One of the biggest problems in the 21st century is poverty. Since what poverty really is in a constantly changing and developing world and how it has been inability to resolve, fighting against poverty is not fully successful. Everyone as a member of a society is not affected by poverty at the same level. The extent and perceived intensity of poverty varies for some disadvantaged groups. Regarding gender, the poverty felt by women is higher than that of men. The primary reason for this is the vital roles that society ascribes to men and women. However, some factors such as family structure, education, labor force participation and wage differences deepen women's poverty. The aim of this study is to reveal the poverty female faces. For this reason, the factors determining women's poverty were investigated primarily. Then, general and gender-based poverty rates in Turkey were calculated using the Turkish Statistical Institute 2019 Income and Living Conditions Survey data. According to the results, 21.3% of the total population lives below the poverty line. On the basis of gender, 21.8% of the female population and 20.8% of the male population are below the poverty line. Additionally, depending on the literature, the situations in which poor women are concentrated in Turkey have been examined. According to this, it has been concluded that the majority of poor women are of working age, mostly employed in agricultural areas, as unpaid family workers without social security, and concentrated in low education, in nuclear families of generally male heads of household.
... Kwakwatsi is a former black residential township for the town of Koppies, located 180km south of Johannesburg with its head office in Parys (Muzindutsi & Sekhampu, 2014). Kwakwatsi Township was selected for this study because it is seen as a semi-urban area, evidenced by lack of economic development and conditions of poverty (Sekhampu, 2012). ...
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This study compared perceptions of the causes of poverty among female and male households’ heads in a South African township. A survey questionnaire was used with a sample of 225 households 156 headed by males and 69 headed by females, randomly selected from Kwakwatsi Township. Instrument used to measure perceptions of the causes of poverty was drawn from The Perceptions of the Causes of Poverty Scale (PCPS) developed by Joe Feagin. In general, the analysis showed that the larger number of Kwakwatsi population was inclined to attribute poverty to individualistic factors, compared to structural and fatalistic factors. Independent t-test indicated that female and male household’s heads expressed similar within the structural and individualistic explanations of the causes of poverty, but they differed significantly in the importance they attributed to the fatalistic attributions. Males reported a higher significant level of inclination to the fatalistic causes of poverty than females. This study confirmed that the link between the perception of causes of poverty and gender cannot be generalised. DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n21p299
... The area is part of the Ngwathe Local Municipality, with its head office in Parys. The area could be regarded as a semi-urban area, evidenced by lack of economic development and conditions of poverty (Sekhampu, 2012). ...
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Life evaluations capture a reflective assessment on a person’s life or some specific aspects of it. Given the relative lack of empirical work on subjective wellbeing (SWB) amongst residents in South African townships, this paper seeks to fill that gap by exploring the determinants of SWB in a township of Kwakwatsi. This study is based on household data collected through a survey to investigate the factors that might affect wellbeing. A multiple regression model was used to determine the impact of selected socio-economic variables on wellbeing. The mean score for wellbeing was 12, indicating that on average people in the area are substantially dissatisfied with their lives. The age, educational attainment, employment status of the head, and the number of household members employed were found to exert a positive impact on wellbeing, whereas household size was negatively associated with wellbeing. Information provided through the study can be used when planning interventions relating to low income residents.
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Faith-based organisations act as a powerful source of growth, empowerment and well-being for families in their milieu. This study used a qualitative research approach, specifically a case study design, to explore the role of the Sarva Dharma Ashram in contributing to the wellbeing of youth and their families in the Welbedacht community in South Africa. Three samples, which consisted of 24 participants, were purposively selected. These three samples were made up of the Board members of the Sarva Dharma Ashram, family members who are members of the Sarva Dharma Ashram and community members who live within the milieu of the Ashram. Semi-structured in-depth interviews and a focus group discussion were used to collect data. Following a thematic analysis of this data, the study found that the Sarva Dharma Ashram played a central role in empowering and enabling the wellbeing of disadvantaged family and community members. The ashram not only provided assistance when psychosocial or financial distress was encountered but also highlighted the spiritual support offered to families and other community members in order to transcend the socioeconomic ills they faced as a marginalised community.
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Bu çalışmanın amacı, çok değişkenli probit regresyon modeli ile Türkiye’de yaşayan bireylerin maddi yoksunluk durumlarını etkileyen sosyo-demografik ve ekonomik faktörleri tespit etmektir. Bu çalışmada, Türkiye İstatistik Kurumu tarafından 2017 ve 2018 yıllarında yapılan Gelir ve Yaşam Koşulları Araştırması’nın mikro veri seti kullanılmıştır. Analiz sonucuna göre, bağımlı değişkenler arasında pozitif ilişki vardır ve hepsi eşanlı olarak tek bir modelde ele alınabilir. Model sonuçlarına göre anket yılı, medeni durum, eğitim durumu, sağlık durumu, kronik hastalık, meslek, gelir düzeyi değişkenlerinin maddi yoksunluk durumunda etkili değişkenler olduğu tespit edilmiştir. Gelir düzeyi ve eğitim seviyesi arttıkça bireylerin maddi yoksunluğu azalmaktadır. Hiç evlenmemiş bireylerin de daha az maddi yoksunluk yaşadığı tespit edilmiştir. Bu çalışmada özellikle, eğitim ve gelir düzeyi düşük olan, sağlık durumu kötü olan, evli olan ve çalışmayan bireylerin daha çok maddi yoksunluk yaşadığı tespit edilmiştir. Bu sonuçlar maddi yoksunluk durumunun önlenmesinde politika ve programların oluşturulması için bilgi kaynağı olabilmesi açısından önemlidir.
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zet MENA (Orta Doğu ve Kuzey Afrika), bir taraftan çok çeşitli doğal kaynaklara ve ortak bir mirasa diğer taraftan ise farklı ekonomik yapılara ve gelişmişlik düzeylerine sahip olan ülkelerin yer aldığı bir bölgedir. Bölgede; gelir eşitsizliği ve cinsiyet ayrımcılığında sürekli bir artış gözlenmektedir. Finansal ekonomik kriz ve siyasi kargaşa, ülkelerin kırılganlığını artırarak, yoksulluğu ve gelir eşitsizliklerini derinleştirerek bölgedeki sosyal koruma mekanizmaları üzerinde baskı oluşturmaktadır. Bu kapsamda, çalışmanın amacı ülkelerde toplumsal ve bireysel refahın sağlanmasını, kalkınma ve büyümeyi engelleyen önemli bir faktör olan yoksulluk olgusunun hangi faktörlerden etkilendiğini ortaya koymaktır. Panel veri modelinin kullanıldığı çalışmada 1990-2013 dönemi, 8 MENA ülkesi (Cezayir, Mısır, İran, Irak, Fas, Suriye, Tunus, Yemen) ve Türkiye için yoksulluğu belirleyen sosyo-ekonomik, coğrafi ve cinsiyet eşitsizliği göstergeleri ele alınmıştır. Analiz sonuçlarına göre, kalkınma, kişi başına düşen gelir, kadının işgücüne katılımı, eğitime katılım, kentleşme, sanayileşme ve ihracat değişkenlerindeki artışlar ülkelerin yoksulluk oranlarını azaltmaktadır. Abstract On the one hand, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is a region with a wide range of natural resources and a common heritage but on the other hand, the region includes a variety of countries with different economic structures and development levels. The region experiencing a steady increases in inequality and gender discrimination as well. The financial economic crisis and political turmoil are likely to increase the vulnerability of countries and deepens poverty and inequalities and also pressure on social protection mechanisms. The aim of this study is to investigate the poverty problem and its determinants in the MENA region. A panel data model was used to investigate the impact of socioeconomic and gender inequality indicators on poverty for 8 countries of MENA (Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen) and Turkey over the period of 1990-2013. According to the results; an increase in development, per capita income, female labour force participation, schooling, urbanization, industrialization and export variables cause a decrease on poverty rates of countries.
This paper explores three issues. First it examines how, and by whom, poverty has been defined and measured, contrasting conventional economic and participatory anthropological approaches. Second, it questions the extent to which “urban poverty” differs conceptually from poverty in general, and considers the utility of an analysis of the urban–rural divide in understanding the underlying causes of poverty. Finally, it reviews the principal ways in which urban poverty has been understood in the South and the North, and what these imply for the different policy prescriptions for addressing urban poverty. It concludes by identifying the linkages between alternative definitions of poverty, different antipoverty policy approaches and the choice of measurement techniques.
This book is about the analysis of household survey data from developing countries and about how such data can be used to cast light on a range of policy issues. Much of the analysis works with household budget data, collected from income and expenditure surveys, though I shall occasionally address topics that require wider information. I shall use data from several different economies to illustrate the analysis, drawing examples of policy issues from economies as diverse as Cote d'Ivoire, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Taiwan (China), and Thailand. I shall be concerned with methodology as well as substance, and one of the aims of the book is to bring together the relevant statistical and econometric methods that are useful for building the bridge between data and policy.
This paper explores the challenge of understanding chronic and structural poverty in South Africa, and questions the dominance of the econometric imaginary in present-day development and poverty studies. It argues that measurement-based, econometric approaches to chronic poverty are dependent upon mystifying narratives about the nature of poverty and how it can be known, that they direct attention away from the underlying structural dimensions of persistent poverty and that understanding structural poverty in turn requires a theorised engagement with the complexities of social relations, agency, culture and subjectivity. Valuable as the recent re-recognition of the need to connect qualitative and quantitative research has been, attempts at 'qual-quant' integration often remain tied to positivist assumptions, bringing the risk of a new 'ordering' of methodological dissent that leaves problematic aspects of the econometric imaginary unchanged. Underlying this process is the entanglement of poverty research with the 'government of poverty': the attempt to constitute poverty as something objectively measurable and scientifically managable. The paper closes with a consideration of the ethical and political challenges this poses for critical researchers and intellectuals in post-colonial contexts.
The purpose of this study is fourfold: first, to summarise the current state of knowledge about chronic poverty in South Africa; second, to describe the range of existing governmental and civil society initiatives which address chronic poverty; third, to identify challenges to addressing chronic poverty in South Africa; and fourth, to identify themes for further research. The introduction to the paper is followed by a brief survey of the historical background, current economic context and poverty profile of South Africa. The paper then presents a quantitative and qualitative picture of South Africa's chronically poor. To date, there has been only one data set collected in South Africa allowing an inter-temporal comparison among the same households. This is the KwaZulu-Natal Income Dynamics Study (KIDS), covering one of the provinces rather than the whole country. Because this data set and the analyses based upon it are unique, we discuss them at length. The KIDS data suggest that at least half of households that are poor are chronically poor; that 'ultra-poverty' is not synonymous with chronic poverty; and the there is a large degree of employment volatility experienced by households. The KIDS-based studies as well as other poverty analyses allow identification of groups especially likely to be chronically poor. These include rural households, women-headed households, households effectively headed by elderly people, and former (retrenched) farm workers. Over the next 10 years, however, AIDS orphans and households directly affected by AIDS, will likely figure as the most prominent category of people mired in chronic poverty. The paper goes on to survey the variety of anti-poverty measures of government and civil society. Measured by expenditure, the government's social security system is by far the largest anti-poverty instrument in the country, and probably one of the more functional. The paper suggests that a number of challenges face government and civil society to address poverty in general and chronic poverty in particular. Among these are: first, the absence of a coherent anti-poverty strategy, and particularly one that takes into account the distinction between chronic poverty and transitory poverty; second, the bleak prospects for growth in formal sector employment over the medium terms, together with general uncertainty about how to improve support to the SMME sector; and third, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the effects of which will likely be far more apparent in the next 15 years than to date. The paper concludes with suggested priority areas for further research.
The policy of local economic development (LED) is currently attracting considerable attention in government and development circles in South Africa. This article seeks to critically examine and assess the key contextual considerations which influence LED, its emergence and its chances of success. In this regard, the notions of post-Fordism and the important role of government are examined. It then outlines and assesses evolving LED policy and practice in the country in the light of current experiences in various centres. The article concludes with an examination of various practical considerations which appear to be affecting the further application of the concept in the country. These issues are deemed to be of relevance to policymakers if LED is to be successfully implemented.
A poverty line helps focus the attention of governments and civil society on the living conditions of the poor. In practice, there is typically not one monetary poverty line but many, reflecting the fact that poverty lines serve two distinct role. One role is to determine what the minimum level of living is before a person is no longer deemed to be "poor". The other role is to make interpersonal comparisons.
Finding ways to judge progress made against poverty and to review policies that affect the poor poses conceptual and methodological problems for the policy analyst. This paper provides an overview of the problems analysts face in accurately assessing poverty reduction. The author also shows practical ways of using theoretical methods and makes recommendations for future poverty analysis. This paper surveys the issues that need to be considered and discusses a number of new tools of analysis which can greatly facilitate poverty comparisons, recognizing the uncertainties involved. Various applications in poverty assessment and policy evaluation for developing countries are used to show how these methods can be put into practice. -from Author
Poverty and policy in post-apartheid South Africa The analysis of household surveys: micro-economic approach to development policy
  • H Bhorat
  • Kanbur
Bhorat H, Kanbur R (2008). Poverty and policy in post-apartheid South Africa. HSRC Press, Pretoria. National Congress, Sekhampu 9509 Deaton A (1997). The analysis of household surveys: micro-economic approach to development policy. Princeton University, Princeton