A smaller proportion of South Africans were living at the bottom of the living standards rung last year compared with 10 years ago, according to research released yesterday.
“The improvement can be attributed in part to the increase in the number of people receiving social payments, such as old-age pensions and the child support grant,” said SA Institute of Race Relations researcher Georgina Alexander.
In 2001, some 11 percent of South Africans fell into the category with the lowest living standards. This had improved to 1 percent in 2011.
“In the same period, the proportion of people with the highest living standards increased from 5 percent to 6 percent,” Alexander said.
The trends are captured via the Living Standards Measures (LSMs), a marketing tool designed by the SA Advertising Research Foundation.
LSM 1 is the poorest category and LSM 10 the highest. In 2001, the greatest proportion of adults – 14 percent – were classified as being in LSM 3.
This dropped to 6 percent in 2011.
Last year, the greatest proportion of adults were grouped in LSM 6 – at 22 percent.
State social grants have helped, with the number of recipients of the child grant increasing by 1 200 percent between 2001 and 2010/11.