Poverty is a key development challenge in social, economic and political terms; not only in South Africa but throughout the developing world. In post-apartheid South Africa, fighting the legacy of poverty and under-development has always been a central theme of Government. This was cemented in the Reconstruction and Development Plan (RDP) of 1994 and reiterated in the National Development Plan (NDP) published in 2011.
The guiding objectives of the NDP is the elimination of poverty and the reduction in inequality and all the elements of the plan must demonstrate their effect on these two objectives. The Living Conditions Survey (LCS) and the Income and Expenditure Survey (IES) conducted by Stats SA are the two primary contributors toward profiling and monitoring poverty and inequality over time.
These two surveys are fundamental components to the survey programme of any statistical agency. They are the leading tools for the measurement of absolute poverty and inequality and they are an extremely important building block for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to stay current with the changing spending and consumption patterns of the country.
Patrick Kelly, Executive Manager for Price Statistics, provides some insights into how inflation affects the most vulnerable. The combined effect of the severe drought and the depreciation of the rand drove annual food inflation to 9,8% in March, its highest level in four years. Periods of high food inflation often spark an outpouring of concern read more »