The release of a recent Oxfam report shed a grim light on the situation facing the majority of South Africans. The report showed an 11% increase in those who live in poverty from 2011 to 2018.
Monday saw the release of the Oxfam Inequality report, titled 'Public Good or Private Wealth' detailing the current situation facing South Africans.
Oxfam SA's executive director Sipho Mthathi said South Africa is mirroring some global trends in the report, despite various government initiatives over the past 25 years:
"This election cycle in South Africa is possibly the worst, as the population living in poverty has increased by 11% from 27.3 million (people) in 2011 to 30.4 million in 2015,"
The report illustrated how the wealth of the world's billionaires increases by R27.7 billion every day over the period of 2018. This is while the poorest people became poorer by 11%.
The report revealed that the number of people in the country living in extreme poverty increased from 11 million (2011) to 13.8 million (2015). This means that 25.2% of the population is living below the Food Poverty Line of R441 per person per month.
Mthathi explained that the inequalities are evident even in the health system, where resources are concentrated toward the private sector with only caters from less than 20% of the population:
"Even the quality of the provision of basic goods and services, especially education and healthcare, remains skewed. The schools where the majority of black South Africans go remain under-resourced as they cater for ever-growing numbers of learners."
Black African females in the country suffer the brunt of poverty, with 49.2% living below the lower bound poverty line in 2015.
In the decade since the financial crisis the number of billionaires has almost doubled. In 2018 a new billionaire was created every two days.
While this is great news for the minority of people enjoying these benefits, it does little for the majority. This wealth is undertaxed, with only 4 cents of every dollar of tax revenue coming from this demographic.
For Africa, the massive amounts government loses every year due to tax avoidance took its toll with billions of rands recorded in the report:
"For Africa alone, as much as 30% of private wealth may be held offshore, denying African governments an estimated $15bn in tax revenues. With armies of tax advisers, multinational companies exploit loopholes in tax codes to shift profits to tax havens and to avoid taxes, costing developing countries an additional estimated $100bn of lost corporate income tax,"
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