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Publications - Other Documents - A National Poverty Line for South Africa

In keeping with practice in many other countries, an official poverty line has been proposed for South Africa to assist in measuring the extent of household poverty and monitoring progress in poverty reduction. Government proposes to pilot a poverty line for an initial period to allow for public comments and consultations before its design is finalised. Statistics South Africa will launch the series before the end of 2007. In summary, the proposal is:
  • A poverty line based on minimum food needs for daily energy requirements, plus essential non-food items, is prepared.
  • Two additional thresholds below and above the poverty line as indicators of extreme poverty and of a broader level of household income adequacy.
  • Publication by Statistics South Africa of an annually updated poverty line and the lower and upper thresholds to take account of price changes, using a basket of goods from the CPI, subject to review every five years to ensure that the poverty line and thresholds remain relevant and accurate.

For further discussion on issues to be considered when deciding on and adopting a national poverty line see the Statistics South Africa/Treasury discussion paper.

Retirement Fund Reform Discussion Paper (55kb)

You are also welcome to submit your comments to Statistics South Africa and the National Treasury by clicking on this link here or by sending an email to povertyline@treasury.gov.za

Background documents:

Woolard and Leibbrandt (2006) “Towards a Poverty Line for South Africa”, a paper prepared for the National Treasury (225kb)
The Measurement of Poverty in South Africa Project: Key issues (302kb)
Statistics South Africa background paper (190kb)
References and Links for the Working Document (21kb)




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