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Unemployment contributing to Limpopo’s poverty increase: Expert

The Limpopo province poverty headcount has increased by 1.4% since 2011, this is accounting to StatsSA’s Community Survey (CS) released on Thursday in Pretoria.

The CS shows the province’s poverty headcount in 2011 stood at 10.1%, while in 2016 it stands at 11.5%.

“There are more multidimensional poor households in Limpopo in 2016 compared to 2011. What drives poverty in Limpopo is unemployment,” says Chief Director of Poverty and Inequality Statistics, Nozipho Shabalala.

Beside the increase in poverty, the province has seen an improvement in service delivery.

“We have seen an improvement of education attainment, we have also seen an improvement in ownership of assets but the problem remains unemployment.”

Shabalala adds urban provinces have a less poverty headcount.

“What we have seen in most provinces that are mainly rural, there is a higher poverty headcount compared to provinces like the Western Cape and Gauteng that are predominantly urban.”

The Western Cape has the lowest poverty headcount standing at 2.7%, followed by Gauteng 4.6%, Free State 5.5%, Northern Cape 6.6%, KwaZulu-Natal 7.7 %, Mpumalanga 7.8%, North West 8.8%, Limpopo 11.5% and then the Eastern Cape.

The Free State poverty headcount remained the same between 2011 and 2016 at 5.5%.

Shabalala believes this is not necessarily a good indication for the province.

“With a poverty reduction programmes that are implemented countrywide we should see a decrease somehow.”

She says the province needs to do more to reduce poverty in the province. The CS released on Thursday evening is the second most prominent statistics in South Africa, following the Census.

Statistician General Pali Lehohla released the latest figures at the Presidential Guest House in Tshwane.

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