23 August 2017

South Africa: StatsSA Poverty Report 2017 - Policies Fail the People of South Africa

analysis

More South Africans are slumping back into poverty as previous gains have been being reversed since 2011. Reasons include "anaemic" economic growth, stubbornly high unemployment and educational outcomes failures, according to Statistics South Africa's "Poverty trends in South Africa: An examination of absolute poverty between 2006 and 2015" released on Tuesday. For policy-makers and government this diagnostic report raises deeply worrying questions about the continued pursuit of policies that fail to bring about change. By MARIANNE MERTEN.

The figures are blunt: 30.4-million of South Africa's 55-million citizens in 2015 - three million more than in 2011 - lived in poverty, or below the upper poverty line of R992 per person per month. One in three South Africans lived on less than R797 per month, or half of the country's 2015 mean annual household income of R19,120, with more women affected than men, and children and the elderly hardest hit, while racial inequalities continue to define poverty as largely a black African problem.

For one in seven South Africans (13.4%) this meant extreme food poverty, or survival on R441 or less per person per month in 2015. Effectively, this is a return to the poverty levels of 2007. A decade ago,...

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