Thursday, November 15, 2007

The complexity of poverty in South Africa

The Mail & Guardian (quoting results of a report by the South African Institute of Race Relations):

"More than 4,4-million households have received electricity connections since 1995, four million received access to clean water, 2,1-million to improved sanitation facilities and 2,5-million to refuse removal facilities. In addition 2,5-million more households now live in formal housing, most of which was provided by the state"

The article continues:

More than 10-million South Africans also receive social grants from the state -- up from three million six years ago.The institute said that the successes suggested that relative deprivation, and not the failure of delivery, was behind the wave of delivery protests that had swept the country since 2006

Relative deprivation? Yesterday the same source published an article stating that South Africans living on less then a $1 per day doubled in a decade. Just to repeat:

In 1996, some 1,9-million South Africans survived on less than one US dollar per day. This had increased to 4,2-million by 2005.

Poverty is complex stuff.

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