Data Portal

Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Development Southern Africa
Title Increases in poverty in South Africa, 1999–2002
Volume 21
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2004
Page numbers 60-85
Analysis of the results in the 1999 October Household Survey and the 2002 Labour Force Survey suggests that the number of people in the bottom two expenditure classes (R0–R399 and R400–R799 per household per month) increased by about 4,2 million over the period. As the boundaries of these expenditure classes remained constant in nominal terms, there is a likelihood that the number of people in poverty will have increased as well. This article attempts to discover whether this is indeed the case. The possible increase in the number of people in poverty is not equal to the increase in the number of people in these two expenditure categories. Rather, it is equal to the difference between the numbers of people in poverty in the two years. Our ?rst crude estimate of the maximum potential number of ‘new’ poor suggests that it could be as high as 4,5 million. This estimate, which excludes any adjustments for possible underreporting of expenditure, child cost economies and household economies of scale, and the ‘social wage’, is whittled down as we attempt to make the relevant allowances. Responding to claims that poverty is increasing in the country, the government has pointed to a failure to consider the contribution
of the social wage to the alleviation of poverty. Accordingly, we have also attempted to estimate the impact of the social wage.

Related studies