South Africa's living standards improve
29 August 2012
The number of South African adults at the lowest living standard fell from 11% in
2001 to 1% in 2011, the South African Institute of Race Relations announced when it released its latest research on Tuesday.
The number of people with the highest living standards also improved in the ten-year period, rising from 5% to 6%.
These statistics are calculated by using Living Standard Measures (LSMs), a
marketing tool introduced by the South African Advertising Research Foundation.
"People are grouped according to objective criteria, such as whether they are
urbanised, own motor vehicles or major appliances, or having running water or a flush toilet in or outside the house," researcher at the Race Relations Institute, Georgina Alexander, said in a statement.
"Income is not used to determine a personís LSM. LSM 1 is the lowest or poorest
category and LSM 10 the highest."
According to the research, the greatest
proportion of adults - 14.3% - were
classified as being in LSM 3 in 2001. In 2011 the proportion of people in LSM 3 had
dropped to 6.1% and the greatest proportion of adults - 22.4% - were grouped in
"Over the last decade there has been a general migration from the bottom three (1-
3) to the middle four (4-7) LSMs, showing a general increase in living standards,"
"The improvement can be attributed in part to the increase in the number of people
receiving social payments, such as old-age pensions and the child support grant."
For instance, the number of recipients of the child grant increased by 1 200%
between 2001 and 2011.
"In 2001 some 8% of South Africans were beneficiaries of grants. This
proportion increased to 29% in 2010/11 and accounted for 10% of government
expenditure," she said.