SA's poverty trap: young‚ black‚ female

22 August 2017 - 13:10 By Sunita Menon
Black females under the age of 17 remain the most vulnerable to poverty.
Black females under the age of 17 remain the most vulnerable to poverty.
Image: ALON SKUY

Despite a general decline in poverty‚ one out of every two South Africans was poor in 2015.

Compared to 2006‚ when two out of every three South Africans were poor‚ it’s an improvement but the figures remain staggering.

Speaking in Pretoria on Tuesday at the release of the Poverty Trends in SA between 2006 and 2015 report‚ statistician general Pali Lehohla said: “We have to look at how South Africa has moved in terms of reducing poverty and the interventions the government has taken.”

He explained that 17 million social grants are handed out to tackle the poverty epidemic.

The number of South Africans living in poverty declined between 2006 and 2011 from 66.6% (31.6 million people) to 53.2% (27.3 million people). This figure‚ however‚ increased to 55.5% (30.4 million) in 2015.

The upper-bound poverty level is R992 while the lower-bound poverty line is R647 and the food poverty line is R441.

Black females under the age of 17 remain the most vulnerable to poverty.

The number of South Africans living under the poverty line (less than R441 per month) increased by 2.8 million from 11 million in 2011 to 13.8 million in 2015.

Contextualising the number of unemployed against government’s interventions‚ Lehohla said there’s no end in sight in terms of the hardships of society.

“Staying unemployed is a big likelihood.”

SA’s income Gini coefficient declined marginally from 0.72 in 2006 to 0.68 in 2015‚ indicating that inequality still remains high.

- BusinessLIVE


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