South Africa still in first place among the most unequal countries

View of the township of Alexandra north of Johannesburg in South Africa.

(Illustration) Getty Images - THEGIFT777

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1 min

Almost three decades after the end of apartheid, the segregationist regime continues to leave a legacy of a very divided society.


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With our correspondent in Johannesburg, 

Claire Bargelès

According to a World Bank report published on Wednesday, South Africa continues to rank first among the most unequal countries in the world.

The researchers are based in particular on the Gini coefficient, which makes it possible to measure the distribution of wealth, and applied in 164 countries.

The situation could even have worsened with the pandemic, while the report is based on pre-Covid-19 epidemic figures.

Whether social, spatial, gendered, inequalities are everywhere in South Africa.

Images taken by drone by photographer Johnny Miller had already shown the gap between residences in upscale neighborhoods, separated by a road from townships and their shantytowns.

The World's Most Unequal Society.

South Africa 🇿🇦 Photographs by Johnny Miller appeared on the cover of Time Magazine.

This must be eradicated as a top priority.

This must not stand.

— Gavin Koppel aka Gavin K (@Gavinkoppel) January 26, 2022

But the World Bank report gives precise figures of these inequalities: only 10% of the South African population owns 80% of the country's financial assets.

►Also read: In South Africa, unions call for a general strike

Among those that weigh the most, the inequalities of opportunity inherited by South Africans at birth are in first place.

Skin color still plays a crucial role, "

because of its impact on education and the labor market

", details the report.

Gender matters too, with

women earning on average 38% less than men. 

The report nevertheless underlines the efforts made, but they remain insufficient, also with regard to inequalities of access to land.

Neighboring countries, such as Botswana or Namibia, are not doing much better: the southern region as a whole is at the top of the ranking of the most unequal areas in the world.


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  • Economy Africa

  • Economy

  • South Africa

  • world Bank