Saturday, September 26, 2009

South Africa - Inequality grows

South Africa remains the world's most unequal society, a report said

Development Indicators report showed that the income of South Africa's poorest 10 percent rose by a third from 783 rand (105 US dollars, 71 euros) in 1993 to 1,041 rand a month in 2008.The richest 10 percent got richer by nearly 38 percent over the same period.

Figures also show that while black South Africans' salaries increased by 38 percent, the incomes of white South Africans jumped by 83.5 percent between 1995 and 2008.

While other countries may occasionally come in below South Africa in inequality indices, as a nation with regular and reliable data it was "now singularly the most consistently unequal society in the world."

The report noted concerns about increasing mortality due to HIV/AIDS. Health expert David Saunders of the University of the Western Cape said South Africa was one of only five countries where under-five mortality was increasing.

In 1995, 31 percent of the population lived under the poverty line of 283 rand a month, which dropped to 22 percent in 2008.

Socialist Banner is reminded of what Marx said " A house may be large or small; as long as the neighboring houses are likewise small, it satisfies all social requirement for a residence. But let there arise next to the little house a palace, and the little house shrinks to a hut."

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