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Poverty and livelihoods in rural South Africa : investigating diversity and dynamics of livelihoods. Case studies in Limpopo

Perret S., Anseeuw W., Mathebula F.. 2005. Montpellier : CIRAD-TERA, 65 p.. numero_rapport: CIRAD-TERA N°17/06.

The present report partakes to an overall study of the socio-economic and institutional circumstances in rural areas of South Africa, after 10 years of democracy and efforts towards rural development. The project aims to contribute to establish a state of the situation, on a case study basis, and an analysis thereof. Special emphasis is put onto two rural communities of the Limpopo Province, as case study areas: Makgato and Sekgopo. The report first introduces and discusses the concepts of poverty and livelihood; especially the controversy around the former is presented. The report then briefly describes the policy frameworks at play in post-apartheid South Africa, which impact upon poverty features and livelihood systems (inter alia macro-economic frameworks, rural development policies, local governance). The report then presents the case study areas, and then focuses onto factual socio-economic features as observed at household level. Data collection took place after sampling, in the form of individual interviews and questionnaires. [...] The report finally discusses the key findings of the study: inter alia, the crucial role of employment in poverty relief, some alarming elements showing that social services may not reach out for the poorest, most isolated households, the very limited effect of welfare alone, as a single safety net against poverty, the important role of old-age pensions, the apparently decreasing importance of remittances in livelihoods, the very limited role of income-related farming, and finally the bitter confirmation that poverty is correlated to certain vulnerable groups, namely women and children, who are disproportionally over-represented among the ultra-poor. [...]

Mots-clés : afrique du sud

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