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Project: Decent Standard of Living Index for South Africa

  • Decent Standard of Living Index for South Africa
What level of income is needed these days in order to have a decent standard of living?
The LRS, together with colleagues at the Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute (SPII) and the Southern African Social Policy Research Institute (SASPRI), are working to estimate the income required for a decent living level for all South Africans.

Initial work for Decent Standard of Living Index (DSLI) for South Africa builds on earlier work undertaken to determine socially perceived necessities for an acceptable standard of living.

South Africa will implement a national minimum wage in May 2018, but there's concern about whether it'll be enough to enable people to cover their costs of living. The amount required for an adequate diet is calculated by Statistics South Africa, but the costs of other aspects of life are less well established.

Decent Income Standard

Led by the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University, the DSLI SA project partners have been part of a pilot study to test the applicability of the “minimum income standard approach” to estimate the income required for a decent standard of living in middle income developing countries. The project involves South Africa and Mexico.  The fieldwork for the South Africa pilot took place in Cape Town and the Eastern Cape, and a report is now available.

The partners are currently involved in mapping the development of a full-scale DSLI project in South Africa. The work will define what constitutes a decent standard of living for South Africa. It will also spur social dialogue and policy formulation around decent standard of living index. 

Key project contact: Trenton Elsley

Email: trenton@lrs.org.za