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SOCIO-ECONOMIC ANALYSIS

The Alfred Nzo District is characterised by poor socio economic conditions and low levels of development which is not an uncommon trend in the region.

1.2.1 Income levels

Income levels within the District area very low. 69.8% of the economically active population do not generate any income. Only 6.7% of the economically active population has an income of more than R1601.00 per month. Municipal planning needs to focus strongly on local economic development initiatives that will enable the community to generate an income.

Figure 1: Income Levels

Source: Statistics South Africa: Community Survey 2007

1.2.2 Poverty levels


Increasing levels of absolute poverty have been recorded in the Eastern Cape and 74% of the people of the Eastern Cape live below the poverty line of R800 or less a month). Poverty levels vary according to district but in Alfred Nzo 82.3% of the population live below the poverty line which is much higher than the Provincial norm. High poverty levels imply a high dependency on social assistance in the form of grants. Municipal planning needs to focus strongly on poverty alleviation mechanisms.

1.2.3 Employment levels and trends

The Alfred Nzo District is characterised by low levels of employment and a high percentage of people who are not economically active. This in turn accounts for the high poverty levels and low income levels. High unemployment rates impact negatively on municipalities as low affordability levels result in a poor payment rate for services. A comparison of the unemployment rate on district level reveals that Alfred Nzo has the second highest level of unemployment in the province.

Figure 2 : Comparison of unemployment rates per District

 

Municipality Employed(%) Unemployed/Not economically active(%)
Chris Hani
Alfred Nzo
Ukhahlamba
Amathole
O.R Tambo
Nelson Mandela Metro
cacadu

 

Source: Statistics South Africa: Community Survey 2007

The following figure provides an overview of employment levels at district level.

Figure 3: Employment levels Alfred Nzo District


Source: Statistics South Africa: Community Survey 2007

This trend is broadly reflected at local level with Matatiele Local Municipality having a slightly higher percentage of its population employed than Umzimvubu Local Municipality. The following figures provide an overview of employment levels at local level.

Figure 4: Employment levels Umzimvubu Local Municipality

Source: Statistics South Africa: Community Survey 2007

Figure 5: Employment levels Matatiele Local Municipality


Source: Statistics South Africa: Community Survey 2007

The Eastern Cape Province derives income from basically three sectors:
- The primary sector made up by agriculture, forestry and fishing industry
- The secondary sector dominated by transport, construction food industry, and wholesale industry.
- The tertiary sector dominated by community and public sector services.

On Provincial level employment is dominated by the tertiary sector. This is reflected in the Alfred Nzo District where the public sector or community services accounts for the majority of specified jobs (35.7%). This sector is an unlikely base for employment expansion.

Wholesale and retail trade which are secondary activities constitute the second highest employment sector, (24.3) but it is doubtful whether this sector will expand significantly as commercial and business activities are confined to urban centres of Mount Ayliff, Mount Frere and Matitiele and to a smaller extent Cedarville. This limits the majority of the rural population from finding work in these sectors. Business activities in other areas are confined to rural supply stores and general dealers which do not contribute significantly to the employment levels in the district.

Primary activities namely agriculture, forestry and fishing only account for 5% of the jobs in the District, despite the fact that agriculture remains the most dominant activity. It is assumed that the subsistence nature of agriculture in the District is the reason why the sector does not reflect as a significant employment sector.

Figure 6: Employment Sectors


Source: Statistics South Africa: Community Survey 2007

The employment sector is dominated by elementary occupations (31.1%). Craft and related workers, service shop market and sales workers, and clerks jointly constitute 23.3% of the employment sector. Professionals, technicians and associate professionals and legislators /senior managers jointly constitute only 33.1 % of the employment sector. There is a significantly higher number of the latter group in Umzimvubu Local Municipality which is probably attributable to the dominance of the community and public sector services in the municipal area. There is a Local Municipality, District Municipality and several government departments in the Municipal area.

This dominance of elementary and other low level occupations is testimony to the low skills base of the area. This is aggravated by an absence of tertiary educational institutions which contribute significantly to the low levels of graduates in the area. Consequently there is an acute shortage of skilled artisans, engineers, project managers, business management skills and technical skills in agriculture, tourism, forestry and environmental management.

The following table provides an overview of the occupational categories within the District.

Figure 7: Occupational Categories


Source: Statistics South Africa: Community Survey 2007

1.2.4 Dependency on social grants

There is a high level of dependency on social grants. 160285 people or 33.5 % of the population are dependant on social grants which include the following;
- Old age pension
- Disability grants
- Child support grants
- Care dependency grants
- Foster care grants
- Grant in aid
- Social relief

Child support grants and old age pensions respectively constitute 68.8% and 21.7% of the allocated grants. Only 2.1% of the population is receiving disability grants as compared to the 4% of the population who have a disability. Given the high poverty levels, the Municipality needs to facilitate a process to ensure that all potential beneficiaries of grants receive what they are entitled to.

1.2.5 Education

Alfred Nzo is characterised by low education and literacy levels. 8.2 % of the population have no education while 37.9 have only some form of primary school education. Only 14.2% of the population have completed grade 12. Only 6.8% of the population has attained any higher qualification. The following figure represents the highest levels of education attained by the population over 20 years of age as at 2007

Figure 8: Education levels (persons over 20 years)


Source: Statistics South Africa: Community Survey 2007

A comparison of education levels within the same age group reveals similar trends with some variation between districts. The number of persons with no schooling in Umzimvubu Local Municipality is significantly higher than persons with no schooling in Matatiele Local Municipality.

The number of people completing Grade 12 is also lower in Umzimvubu Local Municipality than Matatiele Local Municipality. The numbers of persons completing post matric qualifications is however higher in Umzimvubu Local Municipality than Matatiele Local Municipality.

Figure 9: Local Municipality Education Level


Source: Statistics South Africa: Community Survey 2007

The Statistics South Africa Community Survey of 2007 reveals that 82.8% of the people of the people of the District between the ages of 5 and 24 years are attending some form of educational institution. Of these 42.4% are attending secondary school and 1% in tertiary institutions. There is a slight but consistently higher ratio of males in attendance than females, which in effect means that there may still be some gender marginalization in terms of education given that females constitute a higher percentage of the population.

Figure 10: Educational Institution Attendance


Source: Statistics South Africa: Community Survey 2007

The Department of Education is responsible for Education services and is actively endeavouring to improve education facilities. Its priority areas include;

- Eradication of mud structures
- Schools that need fencing
- Schools that need toilets
- Schools that need major renovations
- Schools that need water
- Schools that need electricity

There remain significant challenges in terms of providing education in the District. In the Umzimbuvu Local Municipality area there are approximately 245 educational facilities with a further four planned for 2009/10. Of these facilities there are 7 Junior Primary Schools, 29 Senior Primary Schools, 172 Junior Secondary Schools and 21 Senior Secondary Schools. (There are 13 other schools such as preschools) In total, these educational facilities have 80445 learners and 1281 educators.

In the Matatiele Local Municipality area there are 235 educational facilities. Of these facilities there are 11 Junior Primary Schools, 59 Senior Primary Schools, 140 Junior Secondary Schools and 25 Senior Secondary Schools. In total, these educational facilities have 73 257 learners and 2 281 educators.

Although there appear to be an adequate number of primary education facilities in the district, there is a conspicuous lack of senior secondary schools with less than 10% percent of schools providing secondary level education. This is aggravated by poor access to these facilities. There are no tertiary education facilities except for a FET College which is a significant contributory factor to the low levels of graduates in the area.

It can be deduced that a lack of suitable higher level educational facilities is a significant contributory factor to the low literacy and education levels in the District

1.2.6.1 HIV /AIDS PREVALENCE IN THE ALFRED NZO DISTRICT

HIV&AIDS continues to pose a major challenge for the people of South Africa and the Eastern Cape. HIV/AIDS prevalence is highest in Nelson Mandela Metro at 32% whilst the Provincial average is 23%. The Alfred Nzo District Municipality HIV/AIDS prevalence is 26%. The following table provides an overview of the HIV/AIDS prevalence per district.

Table 4: HIV/AIDS prevalence

District% Prevalence
Nelson Mandela Metro32%
Alfred Nzo26%
Chris Hani25%
Amathole24%
O.R Tambo23%
Ukhahlamba19%
Cacadu16%
Source Macro Social Analysis – Eastern Cape Perspective

According to the Department of Health, the HIV/AIDS infection rate has stabilised in the Alfred Nzo District. HIV/AIDS nevertheless remains a challenge and the Department is actively concentrating on the management of antiretroviral treatment of infected people. There is a high level of Tuberculosis in the region which is commonly associated with HIV/AIDS and the Department is also focusing its attention on the management of TB.

 

Although the primary health care facilities offer HIV/AIDS testing and counseling services, there is a shortage of ARV treatment sites with Mount Ayliff Hospital being the only one in the District.

Municipal planning must take cognisance of the needs of people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. The Municipality has developed an HIV/AIDS strategy (attached as part of sector plans) and established a District AIDS Council.