Is South Africa winning the war on poverty and inequality?: what do the available statistics tell us?

SOURCE: Exploring the link between poverty and human rights in Africa
OUTPUT TYPE: Chapter in Monograph
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2020
TITLE AUTHOR(S): E.Sekyere, S.Gordon, G.Pienaar, N.Bohler-Muller
SOURCE EDITOR(S): E.Durojaye, G.Mirugi-Mukundi
KEYWORDS: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT, INEQUALITY, POVERTY
DEPARTMENT: Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery (DGSD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 11404
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/15322

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Abstract

The chapter examines three primary dimensions of social inequality in South Africa, namely, income inequality, poverty and human development, and access to services. We seek to ascertain whether the implementation of a diverse set of policy initiatives since the end of apartheid in 1994 has reduced social inequality. Data from a range of sources (from the objective to the subjective) are used for this analysis. Although many of these programmes have had a positive impact, the data clearly reveal that there remains considerable room for improvement, especially in the areas of job creation, poverty reduction and inequality. The chapter also points out some of the problems with existing measures of social inequality. A more holistic perspective with a stronger focus on subjective multi-dimensional indicators is needed to facilitate a deeper understanding of inequality in South Africa.