In a speech today in Switzerland, FW de Klerk, the thorny problem of the continuing gap between rich and poor in South Africa addressed.
Mr De Klerk stated that South Africa has a long and unfortunate history of the inequality. For the whole period between 1925 and 1960 the black share of personal income only 20% of the total. Then, in 1970 – due to high economic growth during the 60s and the increasing demand for labor, things began to change. Between 1970 and 1995 the black share of personal income from 22% to 38% increased and the white share of 67% to below 50% decreased. This meant that the welstandgaping for this whole period at a rate of almost 2% per year shrunk.
Nevertheless, the average income of black South Africans in 1995 still only 12.5% of those of their white fellow citizens. South Africa has a Gini quotient [inequality measure] of .67 – one of the highest in the world.
South Africa has to some extent progress made to the vision of equality and justice into reality since 1994. The government has more than 3 million houses – enough to almost a quarter of the population harbor. It also has access to water, sanitation and electricity extended to 75% of households.
South Africa, however, performed poorly in promoting equality. Mr De Klerk has attributed to the continuing high levels of black unemployment, extremely poor performance in black education, and how the government has attempted to address inequality.
Only 41% of South Africans involved in the economy – compared with more than 60% in most economies. Six and thirty percent of the potential workforce and more than 40% of black South Africans are unemployed. Unemployment is the main cause of poverty and is one of the biggest reasons why South Africa since 1994, some progress made to combat inequality not. “More seriously, it means that our new constitutional democracy for a significant part of our working population – including 70% of our youth.”
Mr De Klerk said the main cause of unemployment unions who insist that they call “proper job” – that millions of people from the labor market exclusion by labor costs far above the point to place where the labor supply curve the aanvraagkurwe cross. Unemployment levels are also influenced by the effects of labor regulations – especially in small and medium-sized businesses that 60% – 70% of job creation in most economies. In addition, aggressive unions, speculation about nationalization and the load to meet broad-based black economic empowerment discourage foreign investment, which means less jobs resulting.
The second cause of the persistent inequality is the failure of the education system – especially for black South Africans. Poor education broadens the welstandgaping inequality not only because of higher unemployment caused, but also by the low wages of unskilled workers are paid.
Since 1994 – and the very best motives – the government has consistently taken the wrong decisions on almost every area of education. South African learners of all ages doing poorly in comparative studies of school achievement in most countries. “In fact, we are performing worse than many other much poorer African countries. According to a recent Newsweek survey in South Africa occupies the 97th place in the field of education in 100 countries in the survey. ”
Finally, according to Mr De Klerk’s opinion, the government took the wrong steps to welstandgaping close. This excessive focus on affirmative action and black economic empowerment – which largely benefited the middle class – but almost nothing for the bottom 60% of the population.
A small number who benefited from black economic empowerment has spectacularly rich. South Africa has one of the fastest-growing middle class in the world. There was virtually no progress in low-income section of the population. “It’s like musical chairs play in the first class lounge of a pasassierskip – while those in the economic and steerage classes strictly on the lower decks are caged.”
In some cases, government policy was even promoted inequality. Unbalanced affirmative action has played a major role in the collapse of service delivery in half of South Africa’s municipalities and some key government departments. It accordingly has an adverse effect on the delivery of services to the general public had – and may thus reduce levels of equality in our society.
Mr De Klerk said that affirmative action and black economic empowerment, as it is applied fairly, have a role to play may develop greater equality within the top 20% income group. “It is increasingly clear that this is not the most appropriate ‘legislative and other measures” is to establish equality in the broader community to promote “.
According to Mr De Klerk’s government believes should rather concentrate on measures that all citizens greater access to provide decent education, efficient service – and above all, jobs.
Mr De Klerk said there were signs that the government accepted the challenge. “Under the leadership of Trevor Manuel, South Africa’s widely respected former Finance Minister, the National Planning Commission a practical and meaningful national development plan drawn up.” The plan’s two main goals are job creation and improvement in education quality. The overall objective must be to make the vision of human dignity and equality
in the Constitution to realize.
South Africa’s experience in the process welstandgaping to address the evidence that there is no easy solutions. Perhaps the most important lesson learned is that if you want to promote equality, basic human need to concentrate
• by providing proper education;
• a flexible labor market to ensure, and
• an environment for viable economic growth.