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Health SA Gesondheid (Online)

On-line version ISSN 2071-9736
Print version ISSN 1025-9848


OLDEWAGE-THERON, Wilna  and  SLABBERT, Tielman J.C.. Depth of poverty in an informal settlement in the Vaal region, South Africa. Health SA Gesondheid (Online) [online]. 2010, vol.15, n.1, pp.1-6. ISSN 2071-9736.

Despite the large number of people currently living in poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, the debate about the definition and meaning of poverty continues. Two distinct problems exist regarding the measurement of poverty, namely the difficulty of identifying the poor in a population and the difficulty in developing an index for the measurement of poverty. The main objective of the survey was to apply a poverty model for determining the depth of poverty in an informal settlement in the Vaal Region, as well as the impact of possible income-generating activities on the community. A questionnaire, which had been devised for measuring poverty indicators, was administered to 429 randomly selected households in the informal settlement, with the poverty model being applied to measure the degree of poverty. The results of the survey showed that 286 households lived in poverty at the time. The impact of extra income on the poverty levels of these 286 households was then determined. The results of the survey also showed that the unemployment level was 91% and that the mean monthly income was R612.50. The average poverty gap was R1017.21, with the poverty gap ratio being 56%. The poverty model showed that an increase of R500 in monthly household income resulted in a poverty gap ratio of 35%. The results indicated that the community was a poverty-stricken community, suffering from chronic food insecurity. The results of the study will be used to facilitate the planning and implementation of sustainable, income-generating, community-based interventions aimed at promoting urban food security and alleviating poverty in the community in question.

Keywords : household; food insecurity; informal settlements; poverty; socio-demographics.

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