News & events


Exploring the relationship between spatial inequality and attitudes to inequality in South Africa

11 September 2013
12:30 - 14:00

Date: 11 September 2013

Time: 12:30 – 14:00


  • Mr David McLennan, Senior Research Fellow, Oxford Institute of Social Policy, University of Oxford
  • Mr Ben Roberts, Research Specialist in the Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery (DGSD) programme at the HSRC

Inequality is increasingly regarded as a key driver of social problems in South Africa. However, at the present time, little empirical work exists that can validate this perceived connection. Formulating effective policies to tackle inequality requires a broader evidence base than the commonly used Gini coefficient of income distribution at national level. As many social problems manifest at a local rather than a national level, there is a need to better understand the detailed spatial patterning of inequality and how this may determine people’s experience of or exposure to inequality. There is also the need to better understand public perceptions of inequality and attitudes towards policy options for redress in order to develop policies that are acceptable to the electorate.

This seminar will present emerging findings from an on-going research collaboration between the HSRC and the University of Oxford that aims to contribute towards filling these evidence gaps. The first part of the seminar will focus on our development of a new measure of spatial inequality at small area level that we argue offers a valuable representation of people’s exposure to inequality. The second part of the seminar will focus on our analyses of public attitudes concerning inequality and a range of different policy options to reduce inequality. We will conclude by introducing our current work on the project which involves testing the extent to which people’s attitudes to inequality are influenced by their exposure to inequality.

Kindly RSVP by 09 September 2013

This seminar may be attended via video conference in Pretoria, Cape Town and KwaZulu-Natal. Details as below.

Cape Town: HSRC, 12th Floor, Plein Park Building (Opposite Revenue Office), Plein Street, Cape Town. Contact Jean Witten, Tel (021) 4668004, Fax (021) 461 0299, or

Durban: First floor HSRC board room, 750 Francois Road, Ntuthuko Junction, Pods 5 and 6, Cato Manor, Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786 or

Pretoria: HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail: