Poverty and inequality profile of households in the Northern Province of South Africa

29 May 2007

The paper gives an overview of the socio-economic profile of access to resources and social behaviour of rural households of the Northern Province of South Africa. The preliminary results of a survey conducted in 24 villages reflect a number of disparities among male and female household heads and their occupations. Women farmers tend to dominate the agricultural sector, while men are predominantly in the service and industry sectors. Also, male headed households have more members than female headed households, which are mostly single parents and have a high percentage of members under the age of 15. Unemployment is rife, coupled with a significant number of retired people and more women involved in subsistence farming. Migration is prevalent, and is a source of support, since farming is not enough to meet household requirements. There is still a gap in access to water and land resources. These results pose major challenges for agriculture in the new millennium.