Welfare shocks and poverty among rural households in Ngaka Modiri Molema District of North West Province, South Africa
This study analysed welfare shocks and their effects on poverty among rural households in Ngaka Modiri Molema District. In this study a total of 200 households participated were randomly selected in this survey Structured questionnaire was used to collect data and analysed using the descriptive statistics and Probit regression. The result of the study indicated that the majority (59%) of the respondents were female and 43% were married. The educational levels of the respondents were generally low with 29.50% lacking formal education and 29.50% had primary education. Also (65%) indicated farming as primary occupation while 36.50% had some title deeds to the land they were using. Lack of market access was reported by 14% while 75.50% had access to credit. The households were exposed to drought (56%) and flood (63%). However drought was believed to have a greater effect because it leads to livestock loss (20.50%) crop failure(29%) and ultimately introduces households to food insecurity. Residing in a flood prone area (22.50%) and lack of alternative livelihood (34%) were identified as underlying causes of vulnerability. Also (88.50%) of the respondents reported some increase in food prices. About 47% felt the impact disease outbreak while 48% lost their livestock due to diseases. The majority (78%) of the respondents indicated that when there was no money to buy food, the main food they could afford was maize. Using the Foster Greer Thorbecke (FGT) relative poverty measure 61% of the respondents fell below the poverty line. The result of the Probit model shows that marital status, number adults aged more than 65year number of males and number of females, land area, affected by drought, affected by flood and market distances were statistically significant in explaining the probability of being poor. Government should engage the rural communities and local authorities in making them aware of the drought, flood risk in view of the climate variability.