Inequality in South Africa widened further this year to climb higher among its BRICS and other African countries. File picture: Henk Kruger/ African News Agency (ANA)
JOHANNESBURG - Inequality in South Africa widened further this year to climb higher among its BRICS and other African countries despite various government policy interventions.

Statistics SA said yesterday in its inequality trends report that labour market income was the largest contributor to inequality when compared to other income sources, while remittances contributed the least.

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

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

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

Stats SA said the national Gini co- efficient dropped slightly from 0.67 in 2006 to 0.65 in 2009. It said between 2009 and 2015, the Gini efficiency remained uniform.

Stats SA measures inequality using the Palma ratio, which is defined as the ratio of national income/expenditure shares of the top 10percent of the population relative to the bottom 40percent.

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

Stats SA said that on average, females earned less than males across all educational levels. Females with no education earned roughly 55percent less than males in the same groups.

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

Stats SA said provinces with large rural populations had a larger share of chronically poor households.

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.