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Income Disparity Continues to Plague South Africa

Income Disparity in South Africa
The country of South Africa is divided among those with nothing and those with seemingly everything, making for extremely high rates of poverty for the country overall. The income disparity in South Africa has had an impact not only on the domestic economy and security, but also on the global economy.

Reports show that approximately four percent of households in the country of South Africa make up 32 percent of the country’s household incomes. At the same time, about 10 percent of the citizens live in what are considered extreme poverty conditions, meaning families are living on under $1.25 a day. This disparity has not only drawn attention to the state of the economy, but it has also put a significant strain on the social aspects of the country as a whole.

Though South Africa stands as the second largest economy in Africa, economic disparity amidst the population has created more social tensions and controversy than the numbers would anticipate. Research shows that rates of disparity between members of the 90th percentile and 50th percentile citizens, in terms of income and economic security, have been continuing to grow in recent years. This means that the likelihood of social mobility, say from working class to middle class, or any further for that means, are rather difficult, and nearly impossible.

Despite becoming a democracy, South Africa continues to suffer with inequality between its citizens. This has proven to be an issue regarding security, as the growing size of the lower class and number of impoverished people compares to that of the other four percent. Lack of education can be a great contributing factor to this, as the number of unskilled and uneducated workers heavily outweighs the number of skilled workers in the country. Lack of skill and education leads to less opportunity for the average South African worker. Thus, educating and teaching more skill sets to the people of South Africa may, in part, begin to decrease the growing gap that continues to drive the people of the country apart.

Alexandrea Jacinto

Sources: CNBC Africa, World Policy
Photo: Daily Maverick