Rural income, welfare and migration : a study of three Ciskeian villages

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The on-going significance of the rural areas in policy formation in South Africa has its roots in the country's spatially skewed population distribution and the persistence of 'oscillating' or 'circular' migration. Thus, rural income (its level, sources and distribution) and rural welfare remain important policy considerations. This thesis, based on a microeconomic study of three Ciskeian villages, examines these issues, and attempts to use the understanding so gained, to consider the likelihood of continued circular migration. Chapter 1 places the study in context, providing necessary background to the research area. Chapter 2 looks at the spatial structure and education levels of households in the three villages studied. Chapter 3 deals with the problem of defining and measuring 'rural household income', whilst Chapter 4 examines the adequacy and distribution of this income, paying attention to how changes in various components of income affect rural income distribution and welfare. This thesis is concluded in Chapter 5 with an analysis of the factors contributing to the persistence of circular migration.

Bibliography: pages 73-77.