In the Media

Africa Check: Zuma wrong on household electricity – about 50% of homes had access in 1994

15 May 2015  |  Daily Maverick

President Jacob Zuma claims that 34% of households had access to electricity in 1994. However, in late 1993 and early 1994 the Southern Africa Labour Development Research Unit undertook a national survey to determine the conditions under which South Africans were living, and it was found that 53.6% of households had access to electricity. Read more...

Zuma wrong on electricity


Fighting Poverty: Labour markets and inequality in South Africa

15 April 2015  |  Alan Pifer Award

It was a time of high hopes and expectations as the ANC took the reins in a peaceful transition of power. The challenges for the new government were immense. The ANC was now tasked with breaking down the barriers of access to the wealth and employment opportunities previously reserved for whites only. But, just as a doctor cannot prescribe medication for a patient unless she knows exactly what ails him, so too can government not draw up successful policy without deeper insight into the causes of the problems. lt was at this juncture where the data-driven research undertaken by Professor Murray Leibbrandt and Professor Haroon Bhorat filled a critical vacuum for policy-making.

Read the full article here.



Poverty and Inequality 20 Years On

UCT Research Report, 2013-2014

At UCT, researchers across a wide variety of academic disciplines – from engineers to economists, geographical scientists to sociologists, physiotherapists to political scientists – are involved in documenting and understanding the changes in South Africa over the post-apartheid period, as well as developing appropriate responses to the continuing challenges that relate to the twin burdens of poverty and inequality. Launched late in 2013, the Poverty and Inequality Initiative (PII) was set up to tackle the question of why, in a country of rich resources, poverty and inequality are persisting and even, in the case of inequality, deepening. Read more...


Upcoming courses

A number of joint SALDRU & DataFirst courses are coming up later this year. A full brochure with details on the upcoming courses is available here.

  • Understanding the South African Labour Market, 16 - 20 November, 2015. Applications will open in due course. Queries can be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
  • Measuring Consumption, 23 - 27 November, 2015. Applications will open in due course. Queries can be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

NIDS is running their annual Panel Data Course, Analysing Waves 1, 2 & 3 using Stata. The course runs from 13 – 17 July 2015, and applications close on 31 May 2015. More information is available here, and you can apply online here.

Seminar Series

Educational Achievement and Educational Inequality in Lesotho: Changes and Determinants
3 June 2015
Jeremy SeekingsThis coming Wednesday's seminar will be presented by Ramaele Moshoeshoe. Ramaele is a PhD student at UCT, under the supervision of Cally Ardington and Patrizio Piraino.
This paper uses Lesotho's grade six standardized maths and reading test scores to analyse changes in educational achievement and educational inequality, and their determinants, between 2000 and 2007. Using the relative distribution method developed by Handcock et al. (1998); Handcock et al. (1999), we find that the increase in educational quality between 2000 and 2007 was driven by improved performance of both low- and high-ability students, but mostly the that of low-ability students. We further employ the Recentered Influence Function (RIF) regression decomposition method of Firpo et al. (2007); Firpo et al. (2007) to study the determinants of these changes. We find that much of the increase in educational attainment and inequality is not explained by the covariates. But, two policy variables, pupil teacher ratio and teacher effort, have a strong positive correlation with changes in reading performance, and not maths performance.
Lunch: 12.30-13.00  |  Seminar 13.00-14.00, 4th Floor, Economics Building, Middle Campus

Journal Articles

• Poverty and land redistribution

Malcolm Keswell and Michael R. Carter


 Male circumcision and sexual risk behaviours may contribute to considerable ethnic disparities in HIV prevalence in Kenya: An ecological analysis

Chris Richard Kenyon, Lung Vu, Joris Menten and Brendan Maughan-Brown


• The economic consequences of AIDS mortality in South Africa generations
Cally Ardington, Till Barnighausen, Anne Case and Alicia Menendez


• Partner age differences and concurrency in South Africa: Implications for HIV-infection risk among young women
Brendan Maughan-Brown, Chris Kenyon and Mark Lurie

Other Writing

Go to top