Developing energy-based poverty indicators for South Africa

Type Journal Article - Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics
Title Developing energy-based poverty indicators for South Africa
Volume 21
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2009
Page numbers 163-195
Energy provision and the role it plays in poverty alleviation is well documented. South
Africa has an ambitious poverty alleviation program of halving 2004 poverty levels by
2014, which demands an increase in the provision of energy to both urban and rural
impoverished areas. Yet the country has no energy based poverty indicators to guide
such policy. This paper attempts to fill that gap by developing reliable, theoretically
rigorous energy based indicators from extant data gathered in the 2005 South African
household survey. An end-use and access-adjusted energy based poverty indicator
compares favourably with other poverty variables using correlation analysis. We find
that such indicators can assist government policy in meeting poverty targets such as that
outlined by the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (AsgiSA).

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