The concept of the Poverty Datum Line
Cubitt, Verity S.
Riddell, Roger C.
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The purpose of this study has been to outline and to cost the minimum consumption needs of urban African families. Research was conducted in Salisbury and Bulawayo, these being the main urban work areas, and Fort Victoria which represents a small Rhodesian town with no one major industry. After the preliminary research and discussion of the concept of the PDL, costing exercises were carried out in Salisbury in January and in Bulawayo and Fort Victoria in February this year. Chapter I discusses in some detail the history of the PDL both in this country and elsewhere and explains the assumptions and implications of the concept for the rest of the report. In Chapter II the method of costing is explained and the Salisbury PDL is calculated. Chapters III and IV discuss the PDL for Bulawayo and Fort Victoria respectively. The chapter on the Salisbury PDL is considerably longer than the chapters on Bulawayo and Fort Victoria. This is because much of the methodology used for the Salisbury analysis applies to the studies carried out in the other two towns. Only where significant differences appear is a detailed discussion of method given. Chapter VI summarizes data from chapters II, III and IV, and chapter V makes some final reflections on the project. As will become clear in the report, this is a need orientated study which attempts to calculate the minimum income required to satisfy the minimum consumption needs of various families. Because of this orientation we have not surveyed the actual living conditions of people. An investigation into actual income and expenditure patterns would be the subject of further research.