- During her infamous botched interview with Al Jazeera host Mehdi Hasan, Baleka Mbete made countless claims
- One of these claims was that South Africa's inequality rating was a 'harsh exaggeration'
- Briefly.co.za examines the facts behind the claim to bring you the truest answer
Baleka Mbete gained infamy when she spoke to Al Jazeera host Mehdi Hasan, who used the opportunity to bring up many painful aspects of the ANC legacy.
One of these claims was in answer to Hasan's question on inequality in South Africa. The host asked:
“In economic terms, when we talk about inequality, the World Bank says that South Africa today is the most unequal nation on earth. That’s a pretty embarrassing title for your country to hold, is it not?”
To which Mbete responded that she agreed it was a harsh title, but she denied the statistic:
“I must say it is very harsh. But I wonder whether it’s not an exaggeration. I really think that we must see both good and bad. It can be said by the World Bank. The World Bank is not God.”
The World Bank's findings on South African inequality, according to Edward Wester, a distinguished research professor at the Wits Southern Centre for Inequality Studies is defined as follows:
“Inequality is where some people have a greater share of wealth, power and prestige."
The Gini coefficient is the means of measurement that the World Bank uses to track a country's inequality.
A perfectly equal nation will score 0, while a totally unequal nation will score a 1. South Africa's score is 0.63 and while this is a pitiful score and currently the worst noted, there is a chance that the title was wrongfully allocated to the country.
War-torn nations like Qatar have yet to submit the information needed to allocate a rating to them. Additionally, the data is collected in a survey and not every citizen takes part.
So while SA is indeed the worst-ranked, it is possible that the contribution of other countries to the survey, as well as a total global census, may change this.
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