Social Inequality In South Africa

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The darkest period in South Africa’s history had finally, officially ended in 1994 at the conclusion of the nation’s first fair, democratic elections - which saw the ANC (African National Congress) come to power. This marked the beginning of change throughout the country; the ANC was to reverse decades of systematic and ingrained social, political, racial and economic inequality, unequal access to resources and job opportunities, and unequal distribution of quality service delivery. Fast-forward 20 years and the ANC has delivered on some of its promises, however social inequality still runs deep throughout South African society, as evidenced by recent service delivery (among many other) protests taking place all over the country. According…show more content…
According to a national statistical report (Statistics South Africa, 2014), the official unemployment rate for South Africa has increased from 22% in 1994, to 25% in 2014, with the numbers of unemployed people increasing for all race groups, particularly blacks (up by 20%). Inequality is further highlighted by the rise in poverty, particularly amongst disadvantaged groups. 50% of all South African households are classified as ‘poor’, and black people are ranked the most poverty-stricken racial group in the country (Van Der Berg, 2010). Some statistics suggest that poverty has actually decreased in the past few years, but poverty remains pervasive, and strongly associated with race, for example 52% of black Africans are poor and they make up 78% of the population, but account for 95% of the poor (compare this with 17% of Coloureds being poor, and less than 5% of Whites and Indians) (I. Woolard, 2002).Furthermore, only 27% of the poor have access to electricity, 38% had access to decent sanitation, and 47% had piped water (Woolard,…show more content…
This can be directly applied to South African society. The very purpose of Apartheid was to legitimize inequality, to restrict and separate different ethnic groups from whites and from each other (to reduce their political power) and to ensure that whites had control over the means of production. Non-whites were reduced to being the sub-ordinate class, and were routinely exploited by the white ruling class for their labour. This resulted in the accumulation of wealth for white capitalists, shared within their families over many generations, and the decline in income and access to resources and opportunities (such as access to good education, adequate sanitation and health services etc) for non-whites, resulting in an ever-widening inequality gap over many

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