WP 07/128 - Welfare Shifts in the Post-Apartheid South Africa: A Comprehensive Measurement of Changes

Haroon Bhorat, Carlene Van Der Westhuizen and Sumayya Goga

Date of Publication: 
October 2007

The objective of this study is to provide a comprehensive measure of shifts in welfare in post-apartheid South Africa by examining changes in both income and non-income welfare between 1993 and 2005. Research considering the changes in non-income welfare in the post-apartheid South Africa has found significant increases in the levels of non-income welfare, driven to a large extend by the increased delivery of basic services by government since 1994. Using factor analysis, we construct a comprehensive household welfare index that includes public assets (government provided services), private assets (including education) and wage and grant income. In addition, a public asset index and a private asset index are constructed that allow us to analyse welfare as captured by access to government provided services and privately owned assets respectively. When standard poverty measures are applied to our derived indices, we find that total household welfare increased between 1993 and 2005.

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