Saturday, September 09, 2017

South Africa's Poverty

 New figures reveal an increase of three million South Africans living in poverty over the last five years. 
More than half (55%) of the population lives on less than R1,138 (USD$107) a month, up from 53% in 2011.
In a country with 55 million people, 34 million are going without some of the basic necessities, like housing, transport, food, heating and proper clothing. 
The poorest have been hit the hardest. One in four citizens survives on less than R531 a month and can’t afford to buy enough food to keep healthy. This proportion has risen from one in five in 2011.
The consequences are plain to see. They include more street begging, homelessness, loan sharks, social discontent, substance misuse and violent crime in many communities.
 Progress on education, health and basic living conditions have stalled.
The decline in living standards has occurred despite the extension of social grants to two million more recipients in the past five years, bringing the total number of social grant beneficiaries to 17 million. That is nearly one in three people.
The global economic slowdown and depressed commodity prices have obviously contributed to the problem. These factors have raised unemployment to record high levels. 

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