An approach to human development in rural Western Cape with specific reference to farm workers

Tregurtha, Norma (2005-12)

Thesis (MComm)--Stellenbosch University, 2005.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Using the conceptual framework of the human development approach as proposed by Amartya Sen, this dissertation attempts to measure the absolute and relative development status of Western Cape farm workers for 1996 and 2001. The dissertation begins by presenting a critical analysis of the traditional neo-classical model of development, and goes further to demonstrate how, from the early 1970s, the validity of this model was increasingly questioned by the broader development fraternity and eventually supplanted by the human development approach in the 1990s. The human development approach is based on two conceptual roots namely; social exclusion theory and the capability model of Amartya Sen. Social exclusion theory identifies important themes such as gender and culture which the neo-classical development approach failed to reflect in its theoretical and methodological structures while the capability model establishes the philosophical and theoretical foundations of human development. More specifically it clarifies the question: 'what is wellbeing, how do we measure it and how is it linked to development and poverty? From the perspective of the human development approach, wellbeing is about being able to exercise economic, social and political choice or freedom. These freedoms are labelled capabilities and are they are derived from functioning choices. A functioning represents different aspects of the state of a person, and can either be an activity such as working or a state of existence such as being educated. A functioning is an achievement whereas a capability is the possible options or choices open to a person. It is on the basis of a person's capability set that an evaluation of their level of wellbeing is possible. The human development approach therefore measures development in terms of capabilities The key methodological challenges related to measuring development in terms of human capabilities are numerous. The theory of human development does not specify which capabilities to include when measuring poverty or wellbeing, in addition it provides no method to rank capabilities. Capabilities can simultaneously expand in some areas while contract in others. Because there is no method of ranking capabilities it is impossible to conclude whether on balance, development has taken place. Finally on a practical level the data requirements to measure wellbeing in a multivariate way are significant and are more often than not based on detailed household socio-economic surveys that are not easily replicated over time. For these reasons, while development economists endorse the theory of human development on an ideological and strategic level, methodologically there is still a tendency to measure it in terms of income levels. Despite these challenges a number of empirical applications of the human development approach have emerged in recent years and a cross-section of these studies is described as part of this dissertation. The main methodological issues that have to be confronted when operationalising the human development approach are also documented while the appropriateness of using the theory of fuzzy sets to measure vague concepts such as poverty and wellbeing, is emphasized. Drawing on data from the 1996 and 2001 Population Census this dissertation confronts these measurement challenges and by limiting the analysis to 6 functionings namely; housing, housing services, education, health, social relations, employment and economic achievements, attempts to measure the overall development status of Western Cape farm workers. By comparing this result with the achievement of other labour groups such as the unemployed and workers employed elsewhere in the economy it is also possible to conclude on their relative development status. With respect to functioning achievement (measured as fuzzy scores), in 2001 farm workers scored the lowest of all the labour groups in terms of housing services, social relations and education achievement. In terms of their access to economic resources, while farm workers individual and household monthly income levels exceeded that of the unemployed - their fuzzy score was roughly half of that achieved by workers in other sectors. These various functionings were weighted and aggregated to arrive at an overall wellbeing indicator, and almost no difference could be detected in the score achieved by farm workers and the unemployed. This result was found to be relatively insensitive to the weight assigned to a particular functioning. While there is almost no difference in the overall level of human development "enjoyed" by farm workers and the unemployed, a large difference was found between farm workers and other workers in the economy. It can be argued that this discrepancy is indicative of the high concentration of unskilled workers found in the agricultural sector. However when occupation was brought into consideration, a relatively large discrepancy in development levels between farm workers and employed unskilled workers, could still be detected. In terms of gender, overall women farm workers scored slightly higher than men, however in terms of personal income they scored considerably lower than men. This difference could not be attributed to differences in the number of hours worked per week and confirms the findings of other studies that showed that women farm workers do not receive equal wages for equal work effort. In terms of development status, the results generated by the 1996 population census, were consistent with 2001 however, here farm workers scored poorly in terms of the housing, housing services, education and social relations functioning. It was only with respect to the employment and economic resources functionings that farm workers ranked above the unemployed. By applying the frequency-based membership functions generated for 1996 to the 2001 data set, it was possible to detect absolute changes in development status that took place between 1996 and 2001. Relative to the other labour groups, farm workers consistently exhibited the highest rate of progress. Education, social relations and housing services functionings scores in 2001, were 20% higher than 1996 levels. Key Words: Poverty, development, wellbeing, human development approach, capabilities, functionings, fuzzy sets, Western Cape, Western Cape agriculture, farm workers

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die konseptuele raamwerk van die menslike ontwikkelings benadering, soos uiteengesit deur Amartya Sen, dien as vertrekpunt vir hierdie navorsing. Die navorsing poog om die absoluute and relatiewe ontwikkelingsvlak van Wes Kaapse plaaswerkers vir 1996 en 2001, te meet. 'n Kritiese ontleding van die neoklassieke model van ontwikkeling word geskets, en daama gaan die analise verder om te bewys hoe die ontwikkelingsdenkskool as geheel, vanaf die laat 1970s, die geldigheid van hierdie model bevraagteken het. Hierdie model was uiteindelik in die vroee 1990s vervang deur die menslike ontwikkelingsbenadering. Die menslike ontwikkelingsbenadering is gebaseer op twee konseptuele wortels naamlik; sosiale uitsluitingsteorie en die vermoensmodel van Amartya Sen. Die sosiale uitsluitingsteorie identifiseer belangrike temas soos geslag en kultuur wat die neoklassieke model nagelaat het om te inkorporeer in sy teoretiese en metodologiese struktuur, terwyl die vermoensmodel, die filosofiese and teoretiese fondasie van die menslike ontwikkelingsbenadering vasstel. Meer spesifiek dit verhelder die vraag "wat is welvaart, hoe meet ons dit en wat is die verband tussen ontwikkeling en armoede". Van uit die perspektief van die mens like ontwikkelingsbenadering, gaan welvaart oor die uitoefening van ekonomiese, sosiale en politiese keuses of vryhede. Hierdie vryhede is genoem vermoens en is afgelei vanaf verrigtingskeuses. 'n Verrigting reflekteer verskillende aspekte van 'n person en kan 'n aktiwitiet wees soos werk of 'n stand van bestaan soos geletteredheid. 'n Verrigting is 'n prestasie terwyl 'n vermoe is die reeks moontlike opsies of keuses is wat 'n persoon teekom. Dit is op die basis van 'n persoon se vermoens stel, dat 'n evaluasie van sy vlak van welvaart moontlik is. Dus meet die menslike ontwikkelingsbenadering ontwikkeling in terme van vermoens. Daar is baie metodologiese struikelblokke wat oorkom moet word voordat ontwikkeling in terme van menslike vermoens gemeet kan word. Die teorie van menslike onwikkeling spesifiseer nie watter vermoens ingesluit moet wees by die meting van armoede of welvaart nie. V erder is daar geen metode om vermoens te rangskik nie. V ermoens kan gelyktydig groei in een area en krimp in 'n ander. Omdat geen metode bestaan om vermoens te rangskik nie, is dit onmoontlik om vas te stel of ontwikkeling wel plaas gevind het. Op 'n praktiese vlak, die data of inligtingsbehoefte om welvaart op 'n veelsydige manier te meet, is groot. Dit is normal weg gebaser op gedetailleerde huishoudelike sosio-ekonomies vraelyste wat nie maklik herhaalbaar is oor tyd nie. Vir hierdie redes, terwyl ontwikkelingsekonoome die teorie van menslike ontwikkeling op beide ideologiese en strategiese vlak aanvaar, bestaan daar nog altyd die geneigdheid om dit te meet in terme van inkomste. Ongeag hierdie uitdagings, het 'n hoeveelheid empiriese toepassings van die menslike ontwikkelingsbenadering wel na vore gekom en 'n deursnee hiervan is beskryf as deel van hierdie navorsing. Die hoof metodologiese vraagstukke wat uitgestryk moet word voordat die menslike ontwikkelingsbenadering prakties toegepas kan word, is uiteengesit. Die toepaslikheid van die teorie van "fuzzy sets", om vae konsepte soos armoed en welvaart te meet, is ook beklemtoon. Die resultate van die 1996 en 2001 bevolkingssensus word hi er gebruik om hierdie meetingsuitdaging te konfronter. Die analise word beperk tot net ses verrigtinge naamelik; behuising, behuisingsdienste, opvoeding, gesondheid, sosiale verhoudings, indiensneming en ekonomiese prestasie. Hiermee probeer die narvorsing die algehele ontwikkelingsstatus van die Wes Kaapse plaaswerkers meet. Hierdie resultate word direk vergelyk met die resultate van ander werkersgroepe soos die werkloses en werkers in ander sektore van die ekonomie, om die relatiewe ontwikkelingsstatus van plaaswerkers vas te stel. In terme van hulle verrigtingsprestasie (gemeet in terme van "fuzzy scores") in 2001 het plaaswerkers die laagste van al die werkersgroepe gevaar wat betref behuising, sosiale verhoudings en opvoedingsvlakke. In terme van toegang tot ekonomiese goedere, terwyl plaaswekers se individuele en huishoudelike maandelikse inkomste vlakke die van die werkloses veebygesteek het, was hulle telling die helfte van dit wat werkers in andere sektore behaal het. Hierdieverrigtings prestasies was geweeg en bymekaar getel om n algehele welvaartsindeks te bereken. Dit was bevind dat hierdie resultaat relatief ongevoelig was tot gewigsmetodologie. Terwyl daar amper geen verskil was tussen die vlak van ontwikkeling van plaaswerkers en die van werkloses nie, is 'n goot verskil tussen plaaswerkers en ander werkers in die ekonomie gevind Hierdie verskil kon nie toegekryf word aan die groot konsentrasies van onopgeleide werkers werksaam in die landbou sektor nie. As beroep in ag geneem word, bly daar nog altyd 'n verskil tussen plaaswerkers en ander onopgeleide werkers. In terme van geslag, het vroulike plaaswerkers, oor die algemeen beter gevaar as manlike werkers, alhoewel hulle in terme van persoonlike inkomste agter gebly het. Hierdie verskil kon nie toegeskryf wees aan die hoeveelheid ure gewerk per week nie en bevestig die bevindinge van ander navorsingsresultate wat gewys het dat vroulike plaaswerkes nie gelyke lone verdien vir dieselfde werk nie. In terme van ontwikkelingsvlakke, stem die 1996 resultate met die van 2001 ooreen. In 1996 het plaaswerker slegter gevaar in behuising, behuisingsdienste, opvoeding en sosisale verhoudings verrigtinge. Die was alleenlik in terme van indiensneming en ekonomiese verrigtinge dat plaaswerkes bo die werkloses gerang het. Deur middel van die toepassing van die 1996 lidmaatskapsvergelyking op die 2001 datastel, was dit moontlik om die absolute verandering in ontwikkelingsstatus van Wes Kaapse plaaswerkers te meet. Relatief tot die ander werkersgroepe, het plaaswerkers die vinnigste voorsprong gemaak. In 2001 was opvoeding, sosiale verhoudinge en die behuisings verrigting, 20% hoer as die van 1996. Sleutelterme: armoede, ontwikkeling, welvaart, menslike ontwikkelings benaadering, vermoens, verrigtinge, "functionings", "fuzzy sets", Wes-Kaap, Wes-Kaapse landbou, plaaswerkers

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/50259
This item appears in the following collections: