Determinants of environmental perceptions and attitudes in a socio-demographically diverse urban setup: the case of Gauteng province, South Africa

SOURCE: Sustainability
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
TITLE AUTHOR(S): S.Dlamini, S.G.Tesfamichael, Y.Shiferaw, T.Mokhele
DEPARTMENT: Deputy CEO: Research (DCEO_R), Deputy CEO: Research (ERKC)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 11413
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/15333

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In environment-nature discourse, determinants of environmental perceptions and attitudes vary significantly making it difficult to draw generalisations on their significance for particular locales. In this paper, we explore the key socio-demographic factors affecting environmental perceptions and attitudes for a socio-economically diverse area of Gauteng province, South Africa, using a generalised ordered logit model (gologit) approach. Personal level variables like gender, education level, employment status, age, population group, migration status and external variables such as dwelling type and electricity availability, obtained through a questionnaire, were assessed as determinants of environmental perceptions and attitudes. Statistical results indicated that dwelling type, gender, education level, place of birth and employment status were strong determinants of environmental attitudes. Population group (Coloured and White), dwelling type, electricity availability, employment status and education level (from primary only up to matric) were found to be significant predictors of environmental perceptions. Education level, dwelling type and employment status were therefore the common explanatory variables from the analysis, giving prominence to material values that people attach to environmental attitudes and perceptions. Age had no influence on both environmental perceptions and attitudes. The results from this article can provide a foundation for segmentation of anthropocentric factors for environmental planning and strategy formulation within the province.