Racial inequality rapidly declining in South Africa

By Drum Digital
23 October 2013

The black middle class in South Africa is "rapidly growing" and there has been "a dramatic decline in racial inequality", a study done by Stellenbosch University (SU) has revealed.

However the opportunities and life chances for children from different communities still remain unequal.

The comprehensive two-year long interdisciplinary study, conducted by researchers from the Economics and Political Science departments at SU, indicates that the income gap between race groups is the lowest it has ever been.

Using a monthly income per capita threshold of R4 100 (in 2012 prices) the researchers found that South Africa’s black middle class has grown from 350 000 individuals in 1993 to almost 3 million individuals in 2012. Over this period the black share of the middle class has grown from 11% to 41%.

The research team included economists, political scientists, anthropologists and sociologists from SU, the University of the Witwatersrand and Pretoria University.

Other team members from SU were Prof Hennie Kotzé, Research Fellow at the Centre for International and Comparative Politics at SU, Prof Servaas van der Berg and Prof Ronelle Burger from the Economics Department, as well as Dr Cindy Steenekamp and Prof Pierre du Toit from the Political Science Department at SU.

- by DRUM Reporter

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