And not the super-rich who are earning income from factories or property or other investments.
The World Bank finds that the top 1 percent of South Africans own 70.9 percent of the nation's wealth. The bottom 60 percent of South Africans collectively control only 7 percent of the country's assets.
The number of South Africans living below the national poverty has actually been increasing since 2011. In 2015, 55.5 percent of South Africans or more than 30 million people were surviving on less than $5 a day.
The nation's official unemployment rate is currently at 27 percent compared to roughly 4 percent in the United States.
"South Africa is really facing the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality," says the former head of the African Union, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma who now heads up a national planning commission in President Cyril Ramaphosa's cabinet. "We are a relatively rich country but with a lot of poor people," she says.