First Inquiry Into Poverty*

07 May 2012

The first Carnegie Corporation study on poverty was commissioned in 1929. Titled the Commission on the Poor White Problem in South Africa, the study focused on the plight of Afrikaner farmers whose farms were failing.

To collect their data, social scientists drove through southern South Africa in a Model T Ford. A five-volume report was published in 1932.

While the study encouraged the South African government to assign more funds to the problems of poverty, its main recommendations were used to improve the conditions of whites at the expense of black South Africans.

*Source: Carnegie Corporation Oral History Project

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