Any progress made to liberate South Africa’s black majority since apartheid ended two decades ago looks to have been undone in just five short years, with more than half of the country now living in poverty.
Since 2011, three million more South Africans have been pushed below the poverty line, according to a study by the national data agency, Statistics South Africa, released this week. More than 30.4 million South Africans—55.5% of the population—live on less than 992 rand (about $75) per person per month.
The data, collected in 2015, is more optimistic than numbers from 2006, when two thirds of South Africans were living in poverty. But it captures the painful one-step-forward, two-steps-backwards dance the country has been engaged in over the last decade trying to improve the lives of its population. In 2006, 28.4% of the country was found to be living in extreme poverty. That number had only inched downwards to 25.2% by 2015. Full Story