Democratic Alliance (Cape Town)

2 November 2011

South Africa: Human Development Index - New Direction Needed to Combat Growing Inequality

press release

The latest edition of the Human Development Index (HDI), released today, indicates that South Africa has become a less equal society this year. South Africa is mentioned as one of three countries where a significant increase in the concentration of wealth has taken place.

The report also indicates that we have climbed one position on the general ranking and are now 123rd of 187 countries. The HDI ranks nations according to three criteria: the standard of living of its people, its population's access to knowledge and its population's chance of living a long and healthy life.

While South Africa's ranking has improved by one position this year, we still have a long way to go in realising the full potential of our people and creating a more equal society. Our 123rd ranking makes that clear.

South Africa's levels of inequality can only be addressed by increasing the size of the economic pie through elevated levels of growth and improving education. And the DA is formulating a new plan that will do just that.

Tomorrow, we will release our 8% growth diagnostic, which will identify the key constraints to achieving 8% economic growth and pulling more people from poverty. We will release our full plan to achieve 8% growth toward the middle of next year.

It is only through the acceleration of economic growth, improving the quality of education offered to our children and the building of an environment that encourages job creation that we will be able to deliver opportunities that will enable all South Africans to achieve their full potential.

Dr Wilmot James, DA Federal Chairperson

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