Second Inquiry Into Poverty*

07 May 2012

It was the late Alan Pifer, president of the Carnegie Corporation from 1967 to 1982, who - responding to an initiative from within South Africa - decided the First Inquiry Into Poverty needed a sequel, this time accounting for poverty among both blacks and whites.

The study that Carnegie supported for 10 years was conducted in the 1980s, and was known as the Second Carnegie Inquiry Into Poverty and Development in Southern Africa.

The research was directed by Francis Wilson. The study involved more than 450 researchers, and some 300 papers were presented at a concluding conference.

The Second Inquiry Into Poverty was published in 1989 as a book, Uprooting Poverty: The South African Challenge, co-authored by Wilson and erstwhile UCT vice-chancellor Dr Mamphela Ramphele.

Among the study's main findings was that black rural poverty was far more extensive and far more devastating than had been assumed previously.

*Source: Carnegie Corporation Oral History Project

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