Sources: 2002/03 Survey; Statistics South Africa: Census 2001: Census in Brief, Mid-year Estimates 2004; General Household Survey July 2003; Labour Force Survey September 2003; Actuarial Society of South Africa; Department of Education; Department of Health; Global Insight Southern Africa; Health Systems Trust; Medical Research Council; National Electricity Regulator; South African Police Service.
50% of the people of KwaZulu-Natal are considered to live in poverty.The following give an indication of living conditions:
South Africa's Poverty
A 2003 survey (which included over 6000 people in 60 poor communities) conducted by the Community Agency for Social Enquiry (CASE) found the following:
55% of unemployed and 32% of employed people said they were unable to afford food.
54% of jobless and 43% of employed people could not afford basic services.
46% of people could not afford rent or bond payments.
68% earn less than R500 (about US$85) per month whether working, self-employed or unemployed.
86% are looking for work.
1 in 8 self-employed people said they earned enough to live on.
Research conducted in 2005 by the Development Bank of South Africa revealed that the number of South Africans living in poverty increased from 17 million in 1996 to 21 million in 2003.
At the same time, the average household income rose by 7.6% Putting these figures together confirms that there is increasingly unequal income distribution in a country that is already ranked amongst the most unequal societies in the world – the poorest half of all South Africans earn 9,7% of the national income, whilst the richest 20% take 65% of all income.
Underlying this mass poverty and inequality is the widespread lack of quality basic services, especially in rural parts of the country. The United Nations Development Programme's Report entitled "South Africa Human Development Report" (2003), found that the number of households considered deprived of access to 'good' basic services increased from 5.68 million between the 1996 and 2001 censuses.
In South Africa's main urban centres the "Cities Report" revealed that the increase in the amount of shack dwellings is almost equal to the total number of houses built between 1996 and 2001, and that the number of households without electricity and water (whether unconnected or disconnected) virtually matches the number of those who receive these services.