Jobs and education needed to halt spike in poverty in Gauteng: survey

09 September 2021 - 15:46
Employment and education are areas for intervention to improve social mobility. File photo.
Employment and education are areas for intervention to improve social mobility. File photo.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi/Sunday Times

The proportion of people who live below the average poverty line in Gauteng, which had been steadily declining in the past, has shown a marked increase to 36% during 2020 and 2021.

The Quality of Life Survey 2020/21, released by the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) on Thursday, indicated how the proportion of those living below the poverty line had shown a steady decline over the years, from 35% in 2013/14 to 24% in 2017/18.

Fieldworkers for the latest survey interviewed 13,616 respondents in all wards of the province between October 2020 and May 2021.

Respondents in the survey provided a sense of why they think people live in poverty, and in addition the things they think will give people better opportunities in life.

Two thirds of respondents felt that a lack of jobs was the main reason people lived in poverty, followed by corruption (15%), poor education (8%) and laziness (7%).

Respondents indicated that a good education (34%) was very important to give people the best opportunities in life, followed by individual willpower and hard work (21%), living in areas with opportunities (20%) and knowing the right people (18%).

“It is telling that employment and education (two related factors) feature in both sets of responses, indicating possible areas for intervention to improve social mobility.

“These concerns should be proactively addressed to prevent desperate attempts (like protests) by residents trying to improve their lives,” the survey noted.

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