17/08/20l13 Dr Mo Ibrahim delivers his key note address during the Eleventh Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture held at Unisa. Picture: Phill Magakoe
17/08/20l13 Dr Mo Ibrahim delivers his key note address during the Eleventh Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture held at Unisa. Picture: Phill Magakoe

Ibrahim: Gap between rich, poor a problem

By SAPA Time of article published Aug 18, 2013

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Johannesburg - The gap between rich and poor in South Africa is of great concern, philanthropist Mo Ibrahim said on Saturday.

“After (nearly) 20 years of independence, one can ask 'what is going on here?'. South Africa is the most unequal country in the whole world,” he said.

Ibrahim was delivering an annual Nelson Mandela Lecture in Pretoria.

He said the country's land policy and the willing seller willing buyer principle should be revisited.

“Isn't it time to find an equitable solution within the Constitution? This is an important issue that needs serious attention.”

It was also time to re-visit the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) policy to see whether it had achieved what it had set out to do.

“Did it (BEE) bridge the gap between the rich and the poor? We need to have a conversation on that for the sake of social cohesion.”

Ibrahim said that half of the continent's population was below the age of 19.

African youth could become the best in the future in terms of production.

This was because the population of countries such as China and many European countries were ageing, Ibrahim said.

“But to do that, we need good education and training to equip these youngsters for the future. Through that, Africa can become the future factory of the world.”

The African Index of Governance published by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, showed that South Africa moved from 31st position out of 54 African countries in 2000 to 22 last year.

The index measures the African countries' performance in terms of governance.

South Africa showed great improvement, but still needed to do more, he said. - Sapa

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