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09 November 2005

Factsheet 2: Poverty implications of recent migration into Gauteng

Press Release

Recent Gauteng in-migrants are a relatively advantaged population compared with how they are often imagined. Many are literate and employed, have access to basic services, and live in relatively adequate housing, and in married households.

Most of the migrants who moved to Gauteng from outside the province from October 1996 to October 2001, showed the following characteristics:

  • in the age bracket 20–44 years (70%);
  • 58% were employed (45%) or students (13%).

In some cases, recent in-migrants seem to have been worse off than the total Gauteng population in terms of dwelling type, crowding, unemployment, energy source, water, sanitation, refuse removal, and gender of the household head. But in terms of literacy and household income, they are often better off.

As far as recent in-migrants’ possible contribution to poverty is concerned, a comparison with the 2001 Gauteng population shows that these recent in-migrants tend to:

  • live mostly in informal or traditional dwellings (31% as compared to the proportion for the entire 2001 Gauteng population of 25%)
  • live mostly in severely overcrowded circumstances, with more than one household sharing a room (21% as compared to the 15% of all Gauteng households)
  • be more literate, i.e. having completed Grade 7 (79% as compared to 70% for Gauteng)
  • have employment levels than are about equal to that of the Gauteng population (27% as compared to 26%)
  • live in financially somewhat better-off households with a total annual income of R9 601 or more (69% as compared to 65%)
  • live in households with no access to electricity for lighting (25% as compared to 19%)
  • live in households with no piped water on site (21% as compared to 16%)
  • live in households with no flush or chemical toilet (22% as compared to 17%)
  • live in households whose refuse was not removed by the local authority (17% as compared to 14%)
  • live in households headed by females (37% as compared to 35%).

Most of the evidence presented here seems to indicate that recent migration into Gauteng may have contributed somewhat towards poverty in the province, in spite of the relatively high levels of education of the migrants.

Click here to read full report.

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