Whites still earn four times more than Africans: SAIRR : Thursday 12 September 2013

Whites still earn four times more than Africans: SAIRR

Thursday 12 September 2013 14:46

Frank Nxumalo

This report particularly tracks down the economic performance of black people post 1994

This report particularly tracks down the economic performance of black people post 1994(SABC)

A new report that has been published by the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIIR) today identified glaring racial inequalities in the country. For example, its findings show that on average, white people earn four times more than Africans a month. Poverty among Africans sits at 42% compared to just 1% among white people.  

However the report, which tracks down the performance of black people in the economy and broader society over several decades, with a focus on the post- 1994 democratic period, also argues that the widely held notion that racial transformation in South Africa has failed, is not true.

For example, its findings also show that: in 1994 there were on average 4.9 African people who were not working and thus dependent on every other single black-African person who was employed, this figure has fallen to 3.3 in 2013; the number of employed Africans has doubled since 1994, contrary to the view that South Africa has experienced jobless growth; and the percentage of black people (African, Coloureds, and Indian) in top management has almost doubled since 2000 from 13% to 24%.

The percentage of black judges since 2000 has also increased from 25% to 62%; average monthly earnings for Africans have increased by 90% since 2006 compared to 33% for white people; while white earnings have increased by 33%. While only 21% of Africans received university degrees in 1991, this report shows that this figure had risen to 53% by 2011.

The report suggests that turning these figures around will depend on the three Es: education, entrepreneurship, and economic growth – the only way in which real empowerment can occur, particularly for those who were disadvantaged by the racial policies of the past.

“Future progress may therefore come to depend less on racial policies such as Black Economic Empowerment and more on ensuring access to sound education while fostering a climate conducive to economic growth,” the report suggests.

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