Whites earn three times more than blacks: Stats SA

18 November 2019 - 09:29
By Unathi Nkanjeni
The report also showed that women earned about 30% less on average than men.
Image: istock The report also showed that women earned about 30% less on average than men.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to accurately reflect the annual expenditures among South Africans.

Stats SA's latest report has confirmed that the country is still one of the most unequal in the world.

Inequality Trends in South Africa, released on November 14, showed that white people earned three times more than black Africans on average, two decades after apartheid.

The report also found that the wage gap between SA's groups increased between 2011 and 2015.

It said black households had the highest unemployment and earned the lowest wages.

The earnings of white people were about three times more than those of black people. Whites also had the highest annual median expenditure.

The average annual earning among black people was R6,009 in 2006 and R9,186 in 2015, while the figures for the white population were R77,308 in 2006 and R100,205 in 2015.

Statistician-general Risenga Maluleke said income earnings in SA remained “heavily racialised”.

“The annual median expenditure for whites was more than 10 times higher than that of black Africans across all four years.

“Furthermore, the white population group had more than nine times the annual mean expenditure of black Africans in 2006; though this ratio declined to more than seven times in 2015,” said Maluleke.

Gender pay gap

The report also showed that women earned about 30% less on average than men.

The figures showed that once women were employed, they were more likely to earn less than the average salary of men.

“While women represent about 51.2% of the population in South Africa, females' share of household income and expenditure are significantly lower than that of their male counterparts,” said Maluleke.

He said black people made up the bulk of the country's jobless at more than 46%, with just fewer than 10% of whites unemployed.

The report, which also studied poverty trends, concluded that households headed by black people and coloureds were “chronically” poor.

Black people also had the lowest levels of access to the internet and health insurance cover.