Unit 1 Portfolio TaskPart 1- SouthAfrica-Comparative Levels of Inequality South Africa is the largest economy in Africa, “with thegovernment’s commitment to market economy making it a business hub for foreigninvestment”. Large mineral reserves and incredibly advanced manufacturingfacilities have led to increased economic growth. However, “history has shownthat the economy was built on systematically enforced racial division in everyarea of the country, leaving deep scars of inequality and economicinefficiency”, as told by (Visagie, 1997).
PovertyAlthough a rapidly advancing developing economy, like anydeveloping country, poverty is a problem seen far too often, proven by theHuman Development Index falling from 0.73 in 1995 to 0.67 in 2003 (UNDP,2004).The increasing number of people who do not have access to basic healthcare andeducation, can be seen with upwards of two million people dying from AIDS (PlusNews,2006). The mortality rate of AIDS victims who cannot access medical attentionis 100%, leading to a crisis with regards to social problems and increasingpopulation of orphans in the country, approximately two million of them in2010, (Department of Social Development, 2005) EducationThere has been increased investment in education reformsince the end of apartheid. Introduction of education to black citizens has ledto a dramatic increase in the black population completing higher leveleducation.
Investment in education is still necessary, as the core textoutlines, as people who come from underprivileged neighbourhoods are being heldback, with 27% of 6th grade students being illiterate, compared to4% of the wealthier population, according to (Spaull, 2013). He bases thisresearch on the income inequality still faced by people and the segregationimplemented during apartheid, as an area that still needs to be addressed. Income InequalityReforms have been introduced to evenly distribute publicfinances and allow for widespread income equality. Sadly, there is still an unequaldistribution of wealth, with the expanding informal sector allowing the rich tostay rich and the poor to stay poor.
As stated in the core text, there is a parallel1st and 3rd world economy within a single nation, which,unless merges together, will allow for unemployment rates and income inequalityto rise. Black people are still largely discriminated against, accounting for90% of the country’s poor population (United Nations, 2004). (Barbarinde, 2009)goes on to state that the level of income equality is “particularly acute andbased mainly upon racial stratification”.UnemploymentNearly quarter of a century since the abolition ofapartheid, in the third quarter of 2017, unemployment was reported to be at27.
7%. Black South Africans are still discriminated against, as they accountfor 85% of the unskilled workforce and 40% of those unemployed in 2014,(StasSA). While unemployment in low-skilled manufacturing may have increaseddue to many manufacturing companies relocating to developing countries thatoffer higher incentives for business, as found by (Seria and Cohen,2009), thegovernment is not doing enough to encourage development of the manufacturingsector, predominantly associated with the black population.