Earn­ing dis­par­ity still much ev­i­dent

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT -

BLACK South Africans earned on av­er­age only about one-fifth as much as their white coun­ter­parts in 2015, ac­cord­ing to data pub­lished by Sta­tis­tics South Africa on Fri­day. An­nual house­hold in­come for blacks stood at an av­er­age of R92 893, com­pared with R444 446 for whites, ac­cord­ing to Sta­tis­tics South Africa’s Liv­ing Con­di­tions Sur­vey, con­ducted once ev­ery five years. The na­tional av­er­age in­come was R138 168. To­tal house­hold in­come in South Africa was R2.3 tril­lion. Black Africans ac­count for more than 80 per­cent of the 55 mil­lion pop­u­la­tion, and whites a lit­tle more than 8 per­cent. Statis­ti­cian Gen­eral Pali Le­hohla said pol­icy mak­ers should take note of the num­bers as they showed “what we are up against”. “We see in­equal­ity be­tween pop­u­la­tion groups, but also within pop­u­la­tion groups,” he said. Africa’s most in­dus­tri­alised coun­try’s econ­omy grew strongly in the first years af­ter the end of apartheid, but growth has ta­pered off in the past five years to be­low 3 per­cent. This has pushed the coun­try to the brink of credit down­grades that would cause bor­row­ing costs to spi­ral. Un­em­ploy­ment is at 27 per­cent, the high­est since 2003. Protests over the cost of univer­sity ed­u­ca­tion and ser­vices such as wa­ter, roads and elec­tric­ity have in­creased in the past few years, as well as crime. – Reuters

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