The nature and measurement of poverty and inequality

Type Conference Paper - Poverty and inequality in South Africa: Meeting the challenge
Title The nature and measurement of poverty and inequality
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2000
Despite the relative wealth of South Africa in terms of the country’s per capita Gross Domestic Product, the experience of the majority of South African households is either one of outright poverty, or of continued vulnerability to becoming poor. Although, in common with many countries, this inability to satisfy essential needs stems from many sources, the specificity of poverty in South Africa has been the impact of apartheid. One aspect of this system was a process of active dispossession whereby assets, such as land and livestock, were stripped from the black majority, while simultaneously, opportunities to develop these assets, such as markets, infrastructure and education,were denied them. As such, apartheid, and the legislation which through which thisideology was implemented, operated to both produce poverty and to compress social and economic class.

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