Poverty is a national crisis – Cosatu

Statistics show that poverty is a national crisis in South Africa, says Cosatu.

"It strongly reinforces Cosatu's view that poverty is a national crisis," said the trade union federation yesterday, referring to a report by Statistics SA.

"It also strengthens the case for a national minimum wage, a basic income grant and comprehensive social security, which the federation is campaigning for."

According to the report on poverty, released by Statistics SA on Tuesday, the number of South Africans living in poverty has increased since 2010.

In 2010, 20% of the population fell below the poverty line, said statistician general Pali Lehohla. This increased to 21.5% in 2014.

The report would make the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) even more determined to fight for a national minimum wage, it said.

"It is intolerable that so many workers, even those covered by sectoral determinations, which are supposed to protect the most vulnerable workers, are living below the poverty line, which itself falls way below the basic minimum living level."

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