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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Poverty and inequality in South Africa
Author:May, Julian
Periodical:Indicator South Africa
Geographic term:South Africa
income distribution
Abstract:The recent South African Poverty and Inequality Report (PIR) brings together research undertaken over the past 15 years in South Africa with an analysis of the current policy framework for the reduction of poverty and inequality. Although in per capita terms South Africa is an upper-middle income country, the distribution of wealth is among the most unequal in the world. Fully 50 percent of South African households are classified as 'poor' and most of these live in rural areas. A number of causes of poverty can be identified: the impact of apartheid; the undermining of the asset base of individuals and households through ill-health, overcrowding, environmental degradation, the mismatch of resources and opportunities, and racial and gender discrimination; and the impact of a disabling State. Since coming to power in 1994, the current government has adopted a pro-poor policy framework. The PIR concludes that the new policies are well-founded in their conception, but weak in implementation. It recommends, amongst others, to increase government expenditure on social services, especially pensions, to upgrade infrastructure and services using labour-intensive methods, and to carry out land reform. Sum.