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When one pays a visit to South Africa, they are more likely going to feel as if they are in two different countries. The country which is regarded as the second biggest economy in Africa is sharply divided into two warring sides which have been at loggerheads for a long time.
According to a World Bank report, South Africa is the most unequal country in the world. Findings of the report reveal that only 1 percent of the whole population own a staggering 70.9 percent of the country’s wealth while bottom 60 percent only control 7 percent of the country’s assets.
These utterly depressing findings also correspond to an Oxfam report which reveals that 26 people own the same wealth as 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity.
The glaring gap between the poor and the rich in the Cyril Ramaphosa-led country has existed for decades. These structural legacies and socioeconomic inequalities were inherited from the colonial and apartheid rule. Notably, poverty is consistently highest among black South Africans; they are the less educated, unemployed, and they mostly do house chores for the rich who are mostly whites.
“We find virtually no whites living below the middle class,” Fazila Farouk and Murray Leibbrandt with the Southern Africa Labor and Development Research Unit noted earlier.
Since 1994 SA’s government has attempted to implement ambitious programmes to tone down and finally get rid of the discrimination against the poor and address quality of life issues.
South Africa which is known to be the most industrialized country in Africa is also popular for its extreme income inequality. SA’s huge income gap is sickening. Pacsa, a non-profit organisation that fights social justice reports that the poorest South Africans can’t afford the USD 1.40 a day needed just to eat. On the flip side the 1 percent wealthy South Africans earn up to USD 162K a year.
A new report released by Giraffe, a low-cost, automated recruitment platform for medium-skilled staff reveals that the average monthly salary for the majority of working South Africans is just USD 448.
The company analysed the database of close to one million medium skilled candidates to generate the salary survey. The report discloses that 29 percent of South Africans earn below minimum wage. Further, 70 percent of South Africans earn below the living wage.
Findings of the survey shows that workers with tertiary qualifications earn 72 percent more than their colleagues without. Retail is the biggest industry (employing 18 percent of the workforce) but is also one of the worst paying (40 percent earn below minimum wage). Banking and IT pay some of the highest salaries but employ only 8 percent of the working population.
“Employers- especially small businesses- often don’t know how much to pay their staff and job seekers frequently don’t know what their skillset is worth. We find that the large discrepancies in salaries for equal work to be attributed to the inaccessibility of credible and fair salary reports, so we felt compelled to create one.” Siobhan Zurnamer, who led the research at Giraffe said.
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