Stats SA points to slow growth as cause for rising poverty

Stats SA points to slow growth as cause for rising poverty

Stats SA says children between the age of 17 and younger, women and people in rural areas, those living in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo, and those with little or no education are the victims of the poverty levels.

South African statisticians say the rising trends in poverty are due to various domestic and international factors, such as slow growth.

The latest report, called ‘Poverty Trends in South Africa’, show that more than half of black South Africans live below the poverty line.

Poverty levels rose in past few years, putting the number of people living below poverty lines at over 30 million South Africans.

Statistician-general Pali Lehohla released the report on Tuesday this week in Tshwane.

It says the overall number of South Africans living below the poverty line is 55%.

These people live on less than R992 per person each month.

Those who lived on extreme poverty, on less than R441 per person each month, increased from 11 million people in 2011 to 13.8 million in 2015 – a 3% increase.

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The statisticians say there was a general decline in poverty levels between 2006 and 2011 but it rose in 2015.

“The South African economy in the last five years, notably between 2011 and 2015, has been driven by a combination of international and domestic factors,” the body says.

“Low and weak economic growth, continuing high unemployment levels, lower commodity prices, higher consumer prices (especially for energy and food), lower investment levels, greater household dependency on credit, and policy uncertainty,” it said.

“This period has seen the financial health of South African households decline under the weight of these economic pressures and, in turn, has pulled more households and individuals down into poverty”.

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(edited by ZK)

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