More than half S.Africans live in poverty: report

27th November 2012, Comments 0 comments

More than half of the people in South Africa -- the continent's wealthiest country -- live in poverty, a government study released on Tuesday showed.

The country, which ranks 29th in the world in terms of GDP, ahead of Denmark, is among the most unequal nations in the world.

A survey conducted in 2009, the latest by the government's statistics agency, showed that poverty levels rose between 2006 and 2009, more than a decade after the end of apartheid.

"Using the upper-bound poverty line which takes into consideration both food and non-food needs, approximately 52.3 percent of the population was living below that line," Statistics South Africa said.

About a quarter, 26.3 percent of the population cannot afford decent meals.

Unlike most other African countries, the majority of poor households in South Africa have access to electricity and water while in more than 70 percent of the cases, at least one family member receives social grants from government.

The report ranked the northern Limpopo province as the poorest with nearly three-quarters of its people living below the poverty line.

Other very impoverished provinces include anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela's home province of the Eastern Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal the most populous province which is where President Jacob Zuma was born.

© 2012 AFP

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