Poverty & inequality

2012 UPDATE: 43% of young South Africans in SA’s poorest 20%

In October 2012, Statistics South Africa released the results of its Census 2011, the third official census since the advent of democracy (the previous censuses were conducted in 1996 and 2001). It revealed that between the first and the most recent post-apartheid census the population grew by just over 11 million to 51.7 million, that households increased in number, but became smaller in size, and that average household income more than doubled from R48 385 to R103 204. While these numbers offer cause to celebrate, they still reveal gross inequalities between the country’s historically defined population groups. Black households, for example, earn only 16 per cent of average white household income. While this is an improvement of 5.0 percentage points from the 2001 Census, the degree of inequity remains unacceptably high. When analysing the levels of social stability that South Africa experienced in 2012, these material realities cannot be ignored.

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