City’s elite live in Edendale

2013-04-29 00:00

WHEN it comes to money, some surveys can be a little economical with the truth.

But if Census 2011 figures are to be believed, Pietermaritzburg’s wealthiest can be found in the townships — Edendale, to be specific, home to most of the black households with annual incomes above R2 457 601.

But elite earners are also likely to be found in the suburbs where their white counterparts are concentrated.

The statistics measured the wealth gap and wealth distribution in all of Pietermaritzburg.

At the top end of the scale, it showed that there are 231 black households earning nearly R2,5 million a year, nine coloured households, 99 Indian or Asian households and 198 white households.

In this case, Census 2011 categorises by race according to the ethnicity of the head of the household, and so doesn’t reflect multi-race families.

The stats show that most white millionaire households are in swanky northern suburbs like Montrose, Wembley and Chase Valley.

At the bottom end of the scale, the story is dire for many of Pietermaritzburg’s residents.

The figures revealed that of the households claiming to have no income, 23 472 are black, 435 are coloured, 1 299 are Indian and 1 029 white.

Again, Edendale was home to the largest spread of no-income homes, putting millionaires next door to the poorest of the poor.

While it may be unsurprising to the find the most indigent residents in townships, it appears that even elite neighbourhoods are home to poverty.

There were dozens of households in wealthy suburbs like Oak Park and Montrose which claimed to have no annual income. Most of them were white.

Census communications manager Trevor Oosterwyk cautioned against putting too much stock in the income figures, saying people often lied when stating their earnings.

“That [understating of income] is a problem; we have no way of knowing whether the information is accurate, and for those who lie there are no penalties,” he said.

Oosterwyk said Census was an independent body that did not work with other entities like the South African Revenue Service to corroborate information, and therefore it had no way of knowing whether people were telling the truth about their income.


Households: Singles vs Squeeze

PIETERMARITZBURG, to the frustration of many, often lives up to its

“Sleepy Hollow” status. Now you can add “lonely”.

Census 2011 figures reveal that 45 177 residents live alone.

Their solitary existence might, however, seem enviable to the 4 536 households in the city that have 10 or more people living in them.

That means there are roughly as many people in Pietermaritzburg who can swing a cat comfortably in their homes as those who have to queue for the bathroom every morning.

WE still love nothing more than a good natter. It’s how we do it these days that matters.

Phones: More homes opt for mobile

Phone habits in Pietermaritzburg are now firmly swayed in favour of cellphones, putting mobile telephony way ahead of fixed lines.

Census 2011 says a total of 146 388 households in the city have a cellphone, while only 17 574 don’t. Compare that to landlines and the opposite is true — 128 193 homes have no fixed telephone line while a meagre 35 757 do.

In areas like Ridgepark, Richmond Crest, Hazel­mere, Bisley Crest, Chase­dene and Lester Park, every household has a cellphone. But in Mkondeni and Camps Drift, not a single household has a landline.

Cars: How the wheels turn

DOES it seem like you’re spending more time in peak-hour traffic in Pietermaritzburg?

If so, that’s because 53 982 households in the city have cars, according to Census 2011 statistics.

But taxis are not about to go anywhere. More than twice as many households — 109 980 — do not have a vehicle at their disposal.

wealth gap: PMB has 537 earning R2,5 mln and 26 235 dirt poor

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