Development Southern Africa Volume 38 Issue 5 is now available and most of the articles are free to access. Interesting new research includes this article Progressivity of out-of-pocket payments and its determinants decomposed over time by Steve Koch and Naomi Setshegetso. Using SA’s Income and Expenditure Survey, they estimate the progressivity of out-of-pocket (OOP) health payments. This is a way of assessing health inequality and changes in it, since it is done by tying a measure of health care (financing) to a measure of well-being. The authors find that the households who are in a stronger socioeconomic position, either in terms of income or asset wealth, are more likely to incur OOP payments. The fact that OOP payments are less concentrated among poorer households could be as a result of the many social protection policies in place for South Africa’s poorest.

The study by John Foster, Mihalis Chasomeris and Derick Blaauw Re-visiting car guarding as a livelihood in the informal sector examines how car guarding remains a sustainable means of livelihood in the informal sector. The authors interviewed car guards at six different locations in Durban, South Africa, examining, among other factors,  demographic characteristics, income, education and skills and comparing the findings with previous research. The results show deterioration in the real income levels and livelihoods. There is a notable decline in expenditure on accommodation and reduced optimism about their future.