Press Statement : Quest for Nodal Development: Evidence from Census 2001 and Census 2011

Press Statement                                                                                                            12 May 2016


Quest for Nodal Development: Evidence from Census 2001 and Census 2011 (Report No. 03-10-14)

According to the South African Multidimensional Poverty Index (SAMPI), the number of households that were multidimensionally poor in South Africa had decreased to 8.0% by 2011 from 18.2% in 2001. The decrease in multidimensional poverty was observed in both the rural and urban nodes. In the rural nodes, 29.9% of the households were multidimensionally poor in 2001 decreasing to 14.6% by 2011. In the urban nodes, poverty decreased from 17.4% in 2001 to 6.0% in 2011. The multidimensional poverty headcount was higher in the rural nodes and lower in the urban nodes when compared to the national average during this time period.


The Quest for Nodal Development: Evidence from Census 2001 and Census 2011 report released by Statistics South Africa reviews progress on the Integrated Sustainable Rural Development Programme (ISRDP) and the Urban Renewal Programme (URP), launched by government in 2001. The report uses census data to look at the progress of development in the selected areas between 2001 and 2011 and compares their development to other non-nodal areas to better understand how these programmes have benefitted the selected areas; the ISRDP has eighteen (18) rural nodes and the URP has eight (8) urban nodes. The programmes were aimed at addressing the challenges of infrastructure development, access to basic services, and economic activity in both rural and urban areas.


The results indicate that the biggest contributor towards poverty in the urban nodes is unemployment, whereas the rural nodes are still grappling with the issue of service delivery. When looking at both the rural and urban nodes in 2001 and 2011, the contribution of the education and living conditions dimensions decreases, while the contribution of unemployment increases.


When the nodes were compared with the results from selected non-nodal areas, it appeared that the nodes did not do specifically better than the non-nodes with regard to education, economic activity, living conditions and multidimensional poverty. This means that, ten years after the implementation of the ISRDP and the URP, the nodes have not performed significantly better relative to the non-nodes and thus, the overall success of these programmes is not fully clear.


In addition to the comparisons between the nodes and the non-nodes, the results indicate that there were areas that were worse-off than some nodes in 2001, but were not included in the ISRDP and URP programmes as nodes. These include the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati and Vhembe district municipalities which were not identified as rural nodes despite being worse off than some of the other selected nodes.


On the urban side, Berlin in Buffalo City, as well as Richie and Motswedimoa townships in Sol Plaaitjie were also in the same situation where poverty was greater in these areas compared to those selected to be nodes in the URP. The failure to select these areas within the two programmes highlights the significant data gaps that existed 15 years ago when trying to identify and profile poverty in the country.  However, since the early 2000s, there has been great progress in closing these data gaps through the introduction of new surveys like the Living Conditions Survey (LCS) and new statistical tools like the SAMPI which allow Stats SA and government to better profile the poverty situation in the country.


The SAMPI decomposes information to inform the contribution of each indicator towards multidimensional poverty. This is useful information for planning and policy implementation as drivers of poverty can be identified and be addressed directly.


Issued by Statistics South Africa


For technical enquiries contact:

Ms Kefiloe Masiteng,

Deputy Director General: Population and Social Statistics,

(012) 310 2109


Ms Nozipho Shabalala,

Executive Manager: Poverty and Inequality Statistics,

(012) 310 8610


For media enquiries contact:

Lesedi Dibakwane

Media Relations

012 310 8578

082 805 7088