Results in this brief are from an analysis of the 2016 Demographic and Health Survey. Information on methodology is in the main text of the report and in the method briefs. Additional results are available in results tables on the DDI website.
Share of Adults with Functional Difficulties
In South Africa, the share of adults aged 15 and older with any functional difficulty stands at 22.4%. As shown in Table 1, it varies from a low of 17.6% in Mpumalanga and the Western Cape to a high of 30.6% in the Eastern Cape. In all regions, seeing is the most common type of functional difficulty; communication and self-care are the least common.
Table 1: South Africa: Share of Adults with functional difficulties at the regional level (%)
Notes: ‘Any’ is the share of adults with any level of difficulty (some difficulty, a lot of difficulty or unable to do in one or more functional domains. For instance, ‘Seeing’ is the share of adults with difficulty in seeing of any level. Shares for the six domains do not add up to the share of any difficulty as some individuals may have functional difficulties in more than one domain. Source: Own calculations based on South Africa DHS data.
Multidimensional poverty captures an individual’s experience of multiple deprivations (e.g. low educational attainment, having inadequate living conditions). In South Africa, the shares of persons with at least a lot of functional difficulty and some difficulty who are multidimensionally poor stands at 49.9% and 32.6%, respectively. This is higher than that of persons with no difficulty at 17.4%.
Thus, there is a disability gap in multidimensional poverty between persons with at least a lot of difficulty and no difficulty (32.5 percentage points) and between persons with some difficulty and no difficulty (15.2 percentage points). In other words, persons in South Africa with functional difficulties more frequently experience multiple deprivations than persons without difficulty.
As illustrated in Figure 1/Table 2, multidimensional poverty is somewhat common across regions among adults with functional difficulties. Multidimensional poverty is least common among persons with functional difficulties in the Gauteng.
Figure 1: South Africa: Multidimensional poverty headcount among adults with no, some and at least a lot of difficulty (%)
Figure1a: Adults with no difficulty
Figure 1b: Adults with some difficulty
Figure 1c: Adults with at least a lot of difficulty
Source: Own calculations based on South Africa DHS data (2016). The notes of Table 1 apply.
Table 2 (Supporting Figure 1): South Africa: Multidimensional poverty headcount among adults with no, some and at least a lot of difficulty (%)
|Region||No difficulty||Some difficulty||At least a lot of difficulty|