Chronic poverty in South Africa: Incidence, causes and policies

Type Journal Article - World Development
Title Chronic poverty in South Africa: Incidence, causes and policies
Volume 31
Issue 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2003
Page numbers 473-490
The purpose of this article is threefold: first, to summarize recent research that helps distinguish chronic from transitory poverty in South Africa; second, to identify groups that are especially prone to chronic poverty in South Africa, and venture estimates as to how many such people there are; and third, to examine how an understanding of chronic poverty could enhance the fight against poverty generally. The article makes the case that, in taking the lead in the fight to eradicate poverty, the government would be wise to disaggregate “the poor” according to those who are chronically and transitorily poor. Two policy areas are discussed in light of this recommendation, namely the unemployment crisis and the prospects for future growth in the formal and informal sectors; and rural land reform and the policy choices it presents. The article begins with a brief historical sketch and an overview of socioeconomic policies since 1994.

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