Shocking number of white squatter camps in South Africa

 ·25 Feb 2016

A report in British newspaper the Daily Mail says that ‘white squatter camps’ have mushroomed in South Africa post apartheid.

The paper said that Black Economic Empowerment laws introduced by the African National Congress (ANC), along with global economic pressures “has meant many white South Africans have fallen on hard times”.

A Reuters report said that no post-apartheid government has managed to tackle empowerment of the poor and disposed, black or white.

According to StatsSA, South Africa’s white population is 4.55 million, or 8.4% of the total population.

The Daily Mail’s report states that more than 400,000 white South Africans live in poverty, surviving on around £28.99 (R630) a month.

In 2015, the food poverty line was R400 per capita per month, while the lower and upper bound poverty lines were R544 and R753 per capita per month.

Over half of South Africans live below the national poverty line, and more than 10% live in extreme poverty, on less than $1.25 per day.

The paper highlights a squatter camp in Munsieville, near Johannesburg, as being one of 80 across the country.  “It is built on the site of an old dumping ground and is home to around 300 people, of which a quarter are children,” the Daily Mail said.

These squatter camps contain no electricity and no running water.

In 2013, Africa Check investigated similar claims made by the BBC on white squatter camps – citing the same figures – and found that they were largely over-stated, based on civil estimates.

StatsSA research found that the unemployment rate increased from 22% to 25% over the past 20 years.

Under the expanded definition of unemployment, however, the number of unemployed rose by 3.5 million between 1994 and 2014, with the unemployment rate at 35%.

According to DA leader, Mmusi Maimane, unemployment among black South Africans stands at 39% compared to 8.3% among whites.

And with Treasury’s revised economic growth forecast down to 0.9% for 2016 from 1.7% in October 2015, the country, and the fortunes of its people look bleak.

More on South Africa

SA’s population breaks 54 million

How many whites have left South Africa in the last 5 years

Weak rand bites the rich as South Africans flee the country

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