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The Zibambele rural road maintenance poverty alleviation programme : a case study employing the livelihood approach as a tool to understand poverty alleviation in the Vulindlela area.

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This is an exploratory study, employing the livelihood approach as a tool to understand how the Zibambele programme approached rural poverty alleviation. The livelihood framework is used to understand the relationships between Zibambele workers’ and officials from the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport. The Vulindlela Area, one of the Zibambele sites, was chosen for assessment. The livelihood practices of Zibambele workers’ and attitudes of Zibambele officials towards the implementation the programme were sought out and captured. Qualitative methodology shaped the research design. Zibambele workers’ made up the main sample of this study, while officials from the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport were key informants of this study. Focus group interviews were conducted to capture data from the main sample and key informants. The grounded theory technique was used to analyse data. Data was analysed through identifying themes and building on the relationships between themes, to develop an explanation of how the Zibambele poverty alleviation programme is implemented. This study finds that the Zibambele programme is based on an economic approach to poverty alleviation due to the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport’s ‘top-down’ approach in implementing the Zibambele programme and Zibambele workers rising expectations of the programme. The study concluded that the livelihood approach was a valuable tool in understanding and explaining the Zibambele poverty alleviation programme.


Thesis (M.Soc.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2010.


Poverty--South Africa., Community development--South Africa., Zimbambele Programme.