world inequality lab gap south africa's rich and poor
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Insight & Analysis - August 5, 2021

Inside South Africa’s Struggle with Wealth Inequality

A new report by the World Inequality Lab reveals a huge gap in wealth between South Africa’s rich and poor. Sampling data drawn 1993 through 2017, the Thomas Piketty-backed lab, attributes the imbalance to over three centuries of apartheid and colonialism.

With 3,500 adults in a population of 60 million owning more than the 32 million poorest people, the report states that  the efforts South Africa’s people-elected government have proven futile in closing the incredible gap between the rich and the poor in the country

According to the research, the richest 10% of the population in South Africa control more than 85% of the country’s wealth, while more than half of the population has more debts than assets. According to the organisation, this disparity is greater than any other country for which relevant data is available.

The report added that there are more black South Africans in the richest 10% over the last 7 years. However, this no way closes the gap between the country’s rich and poor as the aforementioned improvement is due to the boost in black incomes rather than an increase in wealth for the country’s poorest.

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