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Tracking multidimensional Poverty in the GCR

Poverty and inequality research has been a primary focus of the GCRO since its inception. Research in this domain has had tremendous practical and policy relevance. In particular, GCRO’s work on multidimensional poverty is quite relevant given its focus on the individual and the household. Five main publications currently exist, namely Mushongera et al, (2017, 2018, 2020, 2022), and Katumba et al, (2019). One of the merits of these publications has been the spatial dimension, where results have been mapped at ward level. These studies provide handy information to local authorities on areas that are deprived, and the nature and extent of the deprivation, all of which aid in designing appropriate, targeted, and effective interventions. Given the availability of data, systematically collected by the GCRO biennially, this project seeks to undertake a multidimensional poverty analysis for four of the six successive Quality of Life Surveys (QoL) conducted since 2009. The objective is to provide an ordered account of the state of multidimensional poverty in the GCR and how it has changed during the past decade. QoL data is suitable for this kind of analysis given that it provides information down to the ward level. Since multidimensional poverty indicators relate largely to service provision by government, this analysis is expected to reflect on the performance of government, in particular local government, and on the progress made towards ensuring adequate access to basic services within communities. The analysis also hopes to capture the poverty effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. More broadly, the project is expected to reflect on progress being made by government towards meeting some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The resultant output will be a GCRO Occasional Paper and a journal article. This project relies on the availability of a harmonized QoL dataset to ensure comparison over time. While the harmonisation process is underway, the project team is working on a journal article that looks specifically at multidimensional energy poverty, and QoL VI data is being used for this analysis.



Mushongera, D., and P. Ndagurwa, (in preparation) Understanding multidimensional energy poverty in the Gauteng City-Region – evidence from QoL survey data.


Mushongera, D., Zikhali, P., Ngwenya, P. (2022). Multidimensional poverty in post-apartheid South Africa: the case of Gauteng Province. Palgrave Handbook of Global Social Problems.

Zikhali, P., Mushongera, D., & Katumba, S. (2018). Multidimensional poverty in the GCR (2015/16 data). GCRO Map of the Month, June 2018. Johannesburg: Gauteng City-Region Observatory.

Mushongera, D., P. Zikhali, and P. Ngwenya (2017). A multidimensional poverty index for Gauteng Province, South Africa: Evidence from Quality of Life Survey Data. Social Indicators Research Vol 13:277-303

Mushongera, D., P. Zikhali, and P. Ngwenya (2015). A multidimensional poverty index for Gauteng (GMPI). GCRO Map of the Month, February 2015.

Last updated: 01 March 2024


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