Inequality still rules in South Africa
THE growth of global inequality is reversible if governments do more to balance the needs of the have-nots with those who have.
The United Nations World Social Report 2020 reveals that protests are taking place fuelled by a combination of economic woes, growing inequalities and job insecurity.
Globally, there are fears that the coronavirus will hit the poor the hardest, with access to health care a prime feature of inequality.
In South Africa, inequality remains a crucial inhibitor to growth and enabling the dignity of all citizens. There have been gains. Access to basic services such as electricity, water, education and health care has improved considerably since the ANC came into power, according to the World Bank report.
South Africans who suffered under the yoke of apartheid hold fewer assets, have fewer skills, earn lower wages, and are still more likely to be unemployed, a 2018 World Bank report on poverty and inequality in South Africa found.
According to the UN report the future course of these complex challenges is not irreversible. Technological change, migration, urbanisation and even the climate crisis can be harnessed for a more equitable and sustainable world. Either that, or they can be left to further divide us.
Governments are crucial in creating more equitable societies.
More than two decades have passed since South Africa overhauled a racist regime.
But while democracy has delivered freedom for all South Africans, not enough has changed for those who were previously disadvantaged.