Comparison between the Income and Expenditure Patterns of Selected Rural Communities in the Nwanedi River Basin with Soweto Suburbs

By Ronald Mears and Mdu Biyase.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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The aim of this paper is to determine the income and expenditure patterns of the employed, unemployed and not economically active populations of these rural villages and to compare it with the Soweto suburbs. The paper analyses the poverty gap of every household. Due to the sensitivity of households about their income the questionnaire surveys the expenditure in great detail to determine monthly expenditure. Not surprisingly, many households have a higher expenditure per month than their income. Some respondents refused to divulge their income and in other cases it is obvious that the income is too low to afford the expenditure per month. These and other problems create the opportunity to solve these issues in this paper.

The selected villages form part of the Vhembe District Municipality of Limpopo and is arguable the poorest area in South Africa. Soweto is a world renowned city with many suburbs and large differences in income. A poorer suburb in Soweto with similar income and size will be selected for the comparison. Calculating the income according to employment status shows that many households are dependent on pensions and child grants.

Although research has been done in urban areas such as Soweto, very little empirical research has been done in rural areas in South Africa.

Keywords: Socio-Economic Survey, Large Urban Area, Poor Rural Area, Dependency Ratio, Income, Expenditure

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp.73-88. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 3.708MB).

Prof. Ronald Mears

Professor of Economics, Department of Economics and Econometrics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

Ronald Mears is professor of Economics in the Department of Economics at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) at the Auckland Park Kingsway Campus. Previously he had been with Vista University’s Soweto Campus for 20 years, where he also did his PhD on “Migration and urbanisation: some theories and applications for South Africa”, until 2004 when the university was incorporated by UJ. His main areas of interests are Development Economics, urbanisation and migration and he has done extensive academic research in these fields. He has produced 25 publications and 40 papers for conferences. He has also had strong practical experience and exposure, mainly through study tours undertaken to large cities in developed and developing countries. In 1996 he visited Canada, the USA, Chile and Brazil where he did research at the IMF and World Bank and also paid visits to the mega cities Santiago, New York, London and Sao Paulo. In 1997 he visited Zimbabwe and Zambia where he researched employment creation. There he also received the winning paper award at the 10th Annual SAESBA Conference for the best theoretical paper. He visited Prague, Budapest and Vienna in 2000, Dubai, Cyprus and Egypt in 2002. Further study tours to study migration and urbanisation include Sao Paulo, Santos and Iguassu falls in Brazil in January 2003 and Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Montevideo (Uruguay) in July 2003. He did a socio-economic survey of selected villages in the Nwanedi River basin during the period July 2007 to study rural urbanisation. He visited Malaysia and Singapore in 2008 relating to sustainable development. He is currently a member of the Economic Society and Africa Institute. He is also coordinator, examiner and research supervisor for masters and doctoral students at UJ, and external examiner at various other universities.

Mdu Biyase

Lecturer in Economics and Econometrics, Department of Economics and Econometrics, University of Johannesburg, Soweto, Gauteng, South Africa

Mduduzi Biyase is a lecturer of Economics in the Department of Economics and Econometrics at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) at the Soweto Campus. He has a master’s degree in economics from the University of Natal. In 1999 he was awarded a Certificate of Merit for his outstanding performance in Economics 130 at the University of Natal. In 2000 he received a Scholarship from the African Institute for Policy Analysis (AIPA) in Cape Town for Honours study and research training, and received the National Research Foundation scholarship for Honours study. In 2008 he received a Research Grant from the University of Johannesburg. He worked as a Part time Teacher of Economics and Business Economics at Nomaswazi private School (Pietermaritzburg) and served as academic adviser at Computer College of South Africa in 2002. In 2003 he joined the Department of Economics at Vista University until 2004 when the university was incorporated by University of Johannesburg. From 2005 to 2006 he served as the sub-head of the Department at UJ (East rand campus) and a part time economics lecturer at University of Fort hare (Alice Campus). He is a member of the Economic Society of South Africa, a member of Development Studies Association (UK), a member of Southern Regional Science Association (USA) and a member of African Econometric Society. He has presented seven papers in conferences in many countries – USA, Australia, Senegal(Dakar) and UK. He is the project leader for the Soweto Socio-economic survey.

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