A Gender Comparison of Access to Basic Necessities in a South African Township: Application of the Lived Poverty Index

Rachel Nishimwe-Niyimbanira, Tshediso Joseph Sekhampu, Muzindutsi Paul-Francois


Gender is one of the crucial concepts in the analysis and eradication of poverty. Understanding the link between gender and poverty may assist in developing policies that can have the greatest impact on poverty alleviation. This study used household level data to comparatively analyse the level of access to basic necessities among female and male-headed households in a South African township of Kwakwatsi. Using a simple random sample procedure, 225 households were surveyed in April 2013. A questionnaire was used to collect the relevant information needed in order to assess the level of access to basic necessities. The Lived Poverty Index was used as a measurement of people’s capacity to get the basic necessities of life. Findings of this study showed that major challenges in Kwakwatsi Township relate to access to medical treatment, electricity and clean water. Female-headed households reported higher incidences of lack of access to basic necessities than male-headed households. Access to medicines and medical treatment was found to be the biggest challenge to the residents of Kwakwatsi. The results of the study draw attention to a number of challenges relating to access to basic services in South African townships.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n8p94

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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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