This paper examines whether the dismantling of apartheid has resulted in an improvement in the standard of living for the vast majority of South Africans. The study is based on a panel data set from the Kwazulu-Natal province. We use weighted quantile regressions to examine the distribution of standards of living, which corrects for the potential bias arising from non-random sample attrition. Our results show that there has been a significant increase in the spread of the distribution of household expenditure of the non-white households residing in Kwazulu-Natal province. Copyright (c) 2006 John Wiley Sons, Ltd.