Poverty levels increase slightly: Survey

By Drum Digital
01 October 2013

Poverty levels in South Africa have increased slightly over the last decade, according to a new survey released.

Poverty levels in South Africa have increased slightly over the last decade, according to a new survey released on Tuesday.

The Afrobarometer poverty survey's Lived Poverty Index (LPI) for 2012 showed South Africa scoring 0.81 on a scale of zero to four.

Four reflects a constant absence of all basic necessities, while zero reflects no poverty.

In 2002, South Africa scored 0.71, 0.82 in 2005, and 0.89 in 2008 on the LPI.

The survey indicated that poverty in South Africa increased despite reported average economic growth of 3.6 percent between 2002 and 2012.

Between 2011 and 2013, 60 percent of South Africans never experienced water shortages, while 29 percent did so once, twice or several times.

Eleven percent experienced water shortages many times or always.

Medical shortages were always experienced, or many times, by eight percent of South Africans, while 31 percent experienced the same shortages once, twice, or several times.

Most South Africans -- 60 percent -- never experienced medical shortages, according to the survey.

Regarding cooking fuel shortages, eight percent of South Africans always or many times experienced such shortages, 30 percent once, twice, or several times, and 62 percent never.

Nearly a quarter -- 22 percent -- of South Africans experienced cash income shortages many times or always.

Thirty-four percent experienced the same shortage once, twice or several times while 44 percent of South Africans never experienced cash income shortages.

When South African respondents were asked what they thought of the current condition of the national economy, 47 percent said the economy was fairly or very bad, 17 percent said neither good or bad, while 34 percent said very or fairly good.

Compared to the condition of the national economy a year ago, 33 percent of South Africans said the economy had gotten worse or much worse, while 36 said the economy was the same.

The survey was conducted in 35 countries across Africa (though Ethiopia's data was yet to be released), with South Africa receiving the sixth lowest LPI score.

-by Sapa

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