Stock image: A Basotho farmer stands in his property in a village. At the age of 22 he left to toil on farms in nearby Ladybrand as a seasonal worker. PICTURES: Gianluigi Guercia/ AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The statistics South African (StatsSA) on Tuesday said poverty rose in the country since 2015.

The latest “Poverty Trends in South Africa” report shows that more than half of South Africans were poor in 2015, with the poverty headcount increasing to 55,5% from a series low of 53,2% in 2011.

StatsSA said that the South African economy, in the last five years, notably between 2011 and 2015, has been driven by a combination of international and domestic factors such as low and weak economic growth, continuing high unemployment levels, lower commodity prices, higher consumer prices (especially for energy and food), lower investment levels, greater household dependency on credit, and policy uncertainty.

“This period has seen the financial health of South African households decline under the weight of these economic pressures and, in turn, has pulled more households and individuals down into poverty.”

Democratic Alliance (DA) in a statement said: “There can surely be no greater indictment of any government’s performance than the number of people living in poverty actually rising on their watch. After all, the primary objective of being in government must be to improve the lives of the poor.”

“We reiterate our call for South Africans to be given the power to usher in the new beginning our country so urgently needs, by going to an early election. The power ought to be in the hands of the people, not politicians,” the statement read.

People took on to twitter to share their opinions on the “Poverty Trends in South Africa” report.