Social Indicators Research

, Volume 81, Issue 2, pp 357–373 | Cite as

Changes in the quality of life of Durban’s people

  • Brian O’LearyEmail author


Durban, the busiest port and second largest industrial hub in South Africa, has a developmental vision that sees its residents living in ‚acceptably serviced housing’ and enjoying a ‚generally high quality of life that can be sustained’. This vision is in response to South Africa’s transitional aspirations to move from an inequitable apartheid state to a democratic society with greater socio-economic parity. Since 1998 the eThekwini Municipality, which is the local authority responsible for the city of Durban, has conducted annual surveys to monitor the changes in the quality of life of Durban’s people. Structured questionnaire interviews were administered in 14 300 dwellings between 1998 and 2005. The samples drawn each year were representative of the city’s demographics and covered a wide range of housing types. Results indicate that parity of life satisfaction between race groups is as far apart in 2005 as it was in 1998. The paper undertakes trend analysis, from a local government perspective, of key objective and subjective variables in the surveys. It identifies the domains that have the greatest impact on satisfaction with life, and reports the salient issues for black householders, who have the lowest level of life satisfaction.

Key Words

Durban quality of life South Africa trends 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Corporate Policy UniteThekwini MunicipalityDurbanSouth Africa

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