More South Africans living in poverty – Stats SA

2015-02-03 13:33

The number of South Africans living in poverty has increased since 2010.

In 2010, 20% of South Africa’s population fell below the poverty line, statistician-general Pali Lehohla said in Johannesburg today, at the release of a Statistics South Africa report on poverty.

This had increased to 21.5% in 2014, he said.

Five years ago, it cost an average South African R321 a month to buy food with the recommended energy requirements. This increased to R355 in 2014.

“The same is true for the austere poverty line, which stipulates the threshold below which one has to sacrifice some food to obtain some basic non-food items,” Lehohla said.

These items included airtime and transportation costs.

“This line is revised upwards from R441 to R501, a person a month,” Lehohla said.

The cost of living had gone up, but South Africa still fared much better than other countries.

According to the report, the country’s food poverty line translated to $2.34 (about R26) a person a day.

This was almost double the international line for extreme poverty, at $1.25 (about R14) a person a day.

“This means that, on average, South Africans are enjoying relatively higher living standards compared with many populations across the world that live below $1.25 a day,” Lehohla said.

Stats SA prepared the report to help government departments and other public agencies determine how much money was spent on social grants and the access people had to free government services.

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