Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke said South Africa stands out as one of the most unequal countries in the world by most inequality measures. African News Agency (ANA)
JOHANNESBURG -  Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) said on Thursday that inequality in South Africa, as measured by the Palma ratio, was highest when compared to other BRICS and African countries despite various government policy interventions.

The Palma ratio is defined as the ratio of national income/expenditure shares of the top 10 percent of the population relative to the bottom 40 percent. 

In its Inequality Trends report, StatsSA said the labour market income was the largest contributor to income inequality when compared to other income sources, while remittances contributed the least. 

Income from the labour market accounts for over 70 percent of overall household income.

StatsSA said on average, females earned less than males across all educational levels. Females with no education and primary earned roughly 55 percent of what males in the same groups earned.

Black African- and coloured-headed households were the only two groups classified as chronically poor, with black African-headed households having the lowest levels of access to the internet and the lowest access to medical aid coverage. 

Provinces with large rural populations had a larger share of chronically poor households. 

A high proportion of the transient poor and vulnerable households were located in Western Cape. 


However, in most provinces more than 90 percent of learners benefited from the nutrition programme as a result of government intervention.

StatsSA said larners from Limpopo, Eastern Cape and Free State were the major beneficiaries of the ‘no-fee’ policy.

Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke said South Africa stands out as one of the most unequal countries in the world by most inequality measures.

“There is growing recognition that persistently high levels of inequality can have serious detrimental effects on a society and its economy,” he said.

“For all of these reasons, it becomes clear why reducing inequality is such a critical task from a policy perspective.”


The inequality trends report attempts to analyse and present results of inequality measurements for household income and expenditure, assets, earnings, employment, education, health, access to basic services, and social mobility.










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