Most whites in SA still earn 6 times more than blacks

 ·18 Jan 2016

A new report published by UK-based charity Oxfam, finds that the world’s wealthiest 62 people, own as much as the poorest half of the world’s population.

This number has fallen dramatically from 388 as recently as 2010 and 80 in 2015.

According to Oxfam, an economy for the 1% shows that the wealth of the poorest half of the world’s population – that’s 3.6 billion people – has fallen by a trillion dollars since 2010.

Meanwhile the wealth of the richest 62 people has increased by more than half a trillion dollars to $1.76 trillion.

Read: How rich are you really

Oxfam found that almost a third (30%) of rich Africans’ wealth – a total of $500 billion – is held offshore in tax havens.

It is estimated that this costs African countries $14 billion a year in lost tax revenues. This is enough money to pay for healthcare that could save the lives of 4 million children and employ enough teachers to get every African child into school, the charity group said.

“Despite nearly 20 years of solid growth in GDP, Africa’s economies are creating too few jobs in sectors where output per worker is high enough to offer a path out of poverty,” Oxfam warned.

Oxfam South Africa said that in 1993, the wealthiest 10% of the country’s population – 3.7 million people – shared a combined income of $36 billion, while the poorest 50% – 19 million people – shared a total income of $9 billion.

This meant that most whites in the country, earned four times more than most black people, according to a statement from Oxfam South Africa.

Read: What South Africa’s richest 1% are worth

The country’s population in 1993 was estimated at around 32 million of which five million were white, 4.5 million were coloured, and of Asian decent, and 23 million were black.

By 2011, the richest 10% of the South African population had an income of $69 billion, while the poorest 50% had an income of $11 billion, a statement by Oxfam said, as reported by Mail and Guardian.

According to Census 2011, the country’s population reached just short of 2 million ( 51.77-million).

Black Africans accounted for 41-million, making up 79.2% of the total population. The coloured population stood at 4.6 million (8.9%), while there are 4.6 million (8.9%) whites.

Oxfam noted that in 2011, five million mainly white people were earning six times more than 25 million mainly black South Africans.

It said that by 2014, the country’s two wealthiest men, Johan Rupert and Nicky Oppenheimer were found to own the same amount of wealth as the poorest 50% of the population.

Oxfam pointed out that this spoke “to asset and not income inequality”.

More on wealth in South Africa

Richest 62 people hold same wealth as half the world: report

The 16 richest people in South Africa right now

This is what the middle class in South Africa looks like

10 things you should know about South Africa’s ultra-rich

How much the richest 1% of South Africans earn

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