Municipality SAIMD 2022

Multiple Deprivation in South Africa at Local Municipality Level in 2022

South Africa remains one of the most unequal societies in the world and profound inequalities persist between geographical areas. Information about spatial deprivation is crucial when designing policies to tackle inequalities and to help those most in need.

In collaboration with colleagues at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa and the Queen’s University, UK, SASPRI has carried out a project which explores multiple deprivation and spatial inequalities at the local municipality level across South Africa in 2022. This study was funded by a grant from the Northern Ireland Department for the Economy, International Science Partnership Fund.

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Information from different sources (including the South African Census 2022) about employment deprivation, education deprivation, material deprivation and living environment deprivation was combined to produce a composite measure of multiple deprivation. It is an update of a widely used deprivation measure – the South African Index of Multiple Deprivation (SAIMD). The new results for 2022 were compared to the 2011 results to provide a better understanding of the extent to which municipalities have improved or deteriorated.

This study showed that spatial inequalities continue to expose the apartheid legacy, as many of the most deprived municipalities are in the former homeland areas, and four out of the five most deprived municipalities are located in the former Transkei homeland in the Eastern Cape. Levels of deprivation have changed quite considerably in many municipalities over the last ten years. This is especially true for the education and material deprivation domains where deprivation declined in all local municipalities between 2011 and 2022. However, improvement was not uniform across South Africa, and levels of living environment deprivation actually increased in some municipalities between these two timepoints.

Resources from the project which can support analysts and policy makers to increase their understanding of spatial deprivation and make use of the data include:

1. A report which can be dowwnloaded here.

2. EXCEL workbooks, including tables and graphs, for South Africa as a whole and for each province (click on the links below to download):

3. An interactive dashboard hosted by CSIR