Poverty's tight grip on South Africa

"Definitions of poverty vary according to who is doing the measuring, be it the World Bank, governments, aid agencies or nongovernmental organisations, or people who live in conditions of poverty.

The language around poverty is constantly expanding to reflect more inclusive approaches to the issue. In this guide, we explain the differing definitions of poverty and how poverty is measured."

Eusebius McKaiser with the help of Thabi Leoka as well as Anele Nzimande had a robust discussion on poverty in South Africa.

Leoka says poverty is difficult to define and borrows the definition from Statistics South Africa (StatsSA).

How Stats SA defines poverty is that 30.4 million South Africans live in poverty, this is a population of about 55 million people. These are people who live on less than a thousand rand a month.

Thabi Leoka, economic strategist

Poverty is a function of two things; low wages and the composition of the household.

Anele Nzimande, Producer of The Big Debate

Nzimande explains that income sharing in a household is one way to insulate low income earners from poverty. She goes on to say the problem isn't only unemployment but stresses the need for job creation, in addition to a decent income.

I think it is very uncomfortable for anyone to claim and say they are poor, while it doesn't mean they don't acknowledge their living conditions.

Anele Nzimande, Producer of The Big Debate

If you call yourself poor, it almost gives off the impression that you have given up on all your aspirations says Leoka.

Leoka chimes in to say if South Africa had fully efficient social services, such as free education, someone earning R4000 a month, would have an income that went further.

Thabi Leoka is an economic strategist and Anele Nzimande produces for The Big Debate and is a former legal researcher at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies under the Business and Human Rights unit.

Listen to the debate on poverty in the audio clip below:


Recommended

by THE NEWSROOM

702 welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the 702 community a safe and welcoming space for all.

702 reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

702 is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
[LISTEN] The rise of vigilantism in South Africa

[LISTEN] The rise of vigilantism in South Africa

Operation Wanaya Totsi's Tebogo “ Pantsi “ Obusitse says they ensure community members do not harm one another.

Zweli Mkhize outlines presidential plans

Zweli Mkhize outlines presidential plans

The ANC Treasurer General says unity, a better economy and stronger governance is needed.

Latest GDP driven by agriculture not so bright for the jobs sector - economist

Latest GDP driven by agriculture not so bright for the jobs sector - economist

Stats SA's second quarter GDP figures put quarter-on-quarter growth at 2.5%.

 In conversation with Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh - Democracy & Delusion

In conversation with Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh - Democracy & Delusion

Activist and author Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh chats to Eusebius about his new book.

Only 17,000 apartheid victims compensated

Only 17,000 apartheid victims compensated

Close to 100,000 people still haven't been compensated while R1.5 billion remains in the president's fund.

Foster care in South Africa is overburdened says social work practitioner

Foster care in South Africa is overburdened says social work practitioner

University of the Western Cape has done a study on this and has found some alarming information.

"The planet will recover from our stupidity" - Jay Naidoo

"The planet will recover from our stupidity" - Jay Naidoo

Naidoo urges all to look in the right places for true leadership and bring about the second liberation.

Economist Lumkile Mondi says SAA must be privatised, Vavi disagrees

Economist Lumkile Mondi says SAA must be privatised, Vavi disagrees

Wits Economics lecturer Lumkile Mondi says troubled state-run airline SAA should be privatised, but Zwelinzima Vavi doesn't agree.

Government's interventions on poverty are not working - analyst

Government's interventions on poverty are not working - analyst

Labour Analyst Mamokgethi Molopyane and ANC TG Zweli Mkhize respond to Stats SA Poverty Trends report of over 30 million poor.

"We can't grow our economy when our working population is unemployed"

"We can't grow our economy when our working population is unemployed"

Economic strategist, Thabi Leoka gives insights into the struggling South African economy.

John Maytham's book review: Murder, road trips and hillbillies

John Maytham's book review: Murder, road trips and hillbillies

John reviews four books for your reading list.

Popular articles
Meet the inspirational man who has lived with HIV since birth

Meet the inspirational man who has lived with HIV since birth

Ntimbwe Mpamba shares his life's journey of living with HIV. He is the longest living person with HIV in Africa.

Historical victory as Parliament passes paternity leave bill

Historical victory as Parliament passes paternity leave bill

The Labour Laws Amendment Bill seeks to regulate the right of parental leave for South African fathers and adoption leave.

Soon you may not be able to light up in public (indoors or out!)

Soon you may not be able to light up in public (indoors or out!)

The Dept of Health is looking to introduce draft legislation that includes a complete ban on all smoking in public areas.

'If you don't like dagga, you're not going to like the future', says lobbyist

'If you don't like dagga, you're not going to like the future', says lobbyist

The Clear Option's CEO, Quintin van Kerken, says the State has failed to make a convincing argument against legalising cannabis.

Dr Viwe Mtwesi is South Africa's youngest black female cardiologist

Dr Viwe Mtwesi is South Africa's youngest black female cardiologist

Dr Viwe Mtwesi spoke to Relebogile Mabotja about her achievements and commitment to serving people through her work.

Almost 30 million SA ID numbers compromised after site hacked

Almost 30 million SA ID numbers compromised after site hacked

Independent Marketing Consultant in the Technology Space, Andrew Fraser says this looks like a leak and not a hack.

'The university degree is dead'

'The university degree is dead'

Flux Trends founder Dion Chang gives five reasons why he believes getting a degree is past its sell by date.