Absolute And Relative Poverty In South Africa

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Poverty is defined as a condition where people’s basic needs are not met. There are two types of poverty, Absolute and Relative Poverty. Absolute Poverty refers to people being unable to achieve a minimum level of physical health, it is measured in terms of calories and nutrition. Absolute Poverty is the same everywhere. Relative Poverty refers to people not being able to reach a certain minimum standard of living which is determined by their government, and enjoyed by others within the same country. Unlike Absolute Poverty, Relative Poverty varies from country to country. This essay will explore factors such as the face of poverty in South Africa, the historical causes of poverty, interventions into poverty and how to deal with and solve poverty…show more content…
The face of poverty also includes unregistered street vendors on pavements. There are many historical factors which have contributed to poverty in South Africa. Colonialism played a major role in causing poverty. By the end of the 18th century European colonists had settled in South Africa and exploited its natural minerals and wealth. Today Africa, as a whole receive 50 billion US dollars in aid and 40 billion dollars for development. However in return they receive 400 billion dollars in natural resources. As it was then, it still is now, just instead of being colonized, South Africa as well as Africa is being looted in exchange for help that isn’t helpful at all, and this is referred to as neo-colonization (Earth Sharing, undated). Apartheid was structured in a way which purposefully advanced the white population and disadvantaged all other populations. The Apartheid system put laws in place which did not allow non-whites a part in the economy other than taking part in ‘blue collar work’. Through Bantu education Hendrik Verwoed stated that non-whites did not need subjects like mathematics and science because there was no need for them to use…show more content…
In President Jacob Zuma’s ‘State of the Nations Address’ he said that the government will continue to invest in skills development and education for pillars of economic growth and development. Skills development and education will reduce unemployment as people will be more qualified to do their jobs (South African Government News Agency, 2014). This intervention has not been successful as unemployment has risen to an all-time high of 26.4%, with 36million employable people, yet only 15.5 million employed people (eNCA, 2015). The government implemented Reconstruction and Development Program (RPD) houses after the end of Apartheid. It was introduced to alleviate poverty by providing less privileged people with houses. This intervention was not successful as the RDP houses were not sustainable and they were poorly

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