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Inequality In SA Still A Big Problem

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When it comes to equality, South Africa is lagging behind. From unemployment to unfair wage payments, South Africa is one of the most unequal societies in the world. 

"Research has already shown that wage inequality contributes about 90% to overall income inequality. Existing government policies have failed to reduce this economic and gender inequality because there's a macroeconomic framework that has been deeply entrenched," said Basani Boloyi from Oxfam, an organisation dedicated to fighting global poverty.

South Africa's unemployment rate makes matters worse, as it widens the inequality gap. 

Recently, StatsSA announced that the unemployment rate increased to 30.8% in the third quarter of this year. 

"Unemployment increased substantially by 2.2 million (52.1%) to 6.5 million compared to quarter 2 of 2020," said StatsSA. 

Boloyi said Covid-19 has shown weaknesses in South Africa's economic system, as the economy is not self-sufficient enough. 

"We estimate that unpaid carework is valued at 14% of GDP. The Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown has shown the weaknesses of the system because the focus on this extractive model means that we do not have the industrial capabilities to produce the essential good and services  that are needed by society in times of crisis because of our reliance on imports" said Boloyi.

The Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi said government has put together an economic reconstruction and recovery plan to revive the economy and create employment. 

“In the first phase of this programme, government has budgeted R19.6 billion for the 2020/2021 financial year.  This is in addition to the existing employment programmes of government.

Nxesi said even though the government receives backlash for not implementing recovery plans well, the new recovery plan will be different. He said more thought and planning has gone into it. 

“That is what makes the current recovery plan different: the attention to process, coordination, monitoring and evaluation, and implementation - what the President refers to as 'joined up government', so that we no longer work in silos, but combine our efforts and resources to maximise outcomes and service delivery to our people," said Nxesi.

Boloyi has criticised this recovery plan, questioning where the government will get the funds for it. 

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