Towards a democratic definition of poverty: socially perceived necessities in South Africa

OUTPUT TYPE: Monograph (Book)
TITLE AUTHOR(S): G.Wright, M.Noble, W.Magasela
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 5052
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/5628

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This paper presents findings from a module in the HSRC's 2005 South African Social Attitudes Survey that was designed by the Centre for the Analysis of South African Social Policy at the University of Oxford. Respondents were asked to select from a list which items, services and activities they regard as essential for all people to have, have access to, or be able to do, in order to enjoy an acceptable standard of living in present-day South Africa. The findings show a striking level of agreement between different groups regarding the necessities, resulting in a 'democratically derived' definition of poverty. The analysis presented in this monograph is part of an ongoing collaboration between URED and the Centre for the Analysis of South African Social Policy at the University of Oxford in relation to poverty and social policy in contemporary South Africa. The Human Sciences Research Council's Urban, Rural and Economic Development Research Programme (URED) uses a multi-disciplinary approach to promote integrated urban and rural development in southern Africa and across the continent. Poverty reduction is the unifying, overarching theme and purpose of URED's work, and the programme's activities coalesce around the themes of: poverty and rural development; infrastructure and service delivery; urban change and migration; and human development, tourism, and climate change.