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Abstract

The legacy of apartheid had much to do with the extraordinary levels of inequality and human insecurity found by the first ever nationally representative living standards survey undertaken in South Africa in 1993. Drawing on a 1998 re-survey of households in the 1993 study, this paper explores whether this legacy has been superseded, or whether apartheid's end has been only one kind of freedom that has left households in a poverty trap from which they cannot escape. The evidence indicates that significant numbers of South African poor are trapped in chronic, structural poverty, lacking the assets and entitlements needed to successfully escape poverty over time.

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