Wednesday, April 06, 2011

south african inequality increases

Inequality in South Africa has worsened to the point where it is now the widest in the world, Congress of SA Trade Unions General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said.

"The workers' share of national income was 56% in 1995, but by 2009 had declined to 51%. There is no official poverty line for South Africa, yet the Minister of Finance has acknowledged that 50% of the population lives on 8% of national income," Vavi said. He added that on average, the poorest 10% of earners received 1,275 rand a month, which was 0.57% of total earnings, while the top 10% received 111,733 rand, which was 49.2% of the total.

The number of South African billionaires had nearly doubled, from 16 in 2009 to 31 in 2010, when the country's 20 richest men enjoyed a 45% increase in wealth.

"Pine Pienaar, CEO of Mvelaphanda Resources, made 63 million rand in 2009, which means he earns 1,875 times as much as the average worker.We must reject the notion that workers must be modest in their demands, tighten their belts and concede to ideas such as wage pacts, wage freezes and the youth wage subsidy. We must say to neoliberal think tanks and research institutes that to argue that workers must tighten their belts whilst a minority of people who do not even lift a finger to produce anything but know how to squander profits is criminal."

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