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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

Kate Wilkinson: Stats about poverty-stricken SA whites are not true

14 July 2018

Kate Wilkinson from Africa Check has refuted claims made by UK Mail online about the actual number of white South Africans living in poverty.
An article by UK Mail online furnished details about the lives of poverty-stricken white South African people. Kate Wilkinson, who is a senior researcher at Africa Check, has since come out to refute claims made in the article that about 400,000 white South Africans were living in poverty.
What is poverty in South Africa linked to?
South Africa has one of the highest percentages of people living below the poverty line. This is a pandemic that the government has tried to tackle since 1994.

However, issues of corruption in the leadership and the scarcity of job opportunities have influenced the high crime stats and hindered the process of getting people out of poverty.
What are the latest poverty statistics in South Africa?
The reality in South Africa is that the majority of its population (people of colour) is directly affected by poverty.
According to the 2017/2018 report compiled by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), 64% of blacks, 41% of coloureds, 6% of Indians and 1% of whites South Africans are living in poverty.

However, the UK Mail online does not seem to agree with these stats. According to the article, about 400,000 white people are thought to live in poverty in South Africa.
Kate Wilkinson’s counterargument against UK Mail online
Wilkinson debunked this claim using figures that were reported by Stats SA in a community survey that was conducted in 2016. She adds that
“What they show, is that there are around 13,300 white people who live in informal dwellings”.
This is not to say that there aren’t any white South Africans who live in dire situations. However, the numbers that are given by UK Mail online are not in line with the percentage total provided by the SAHRC report.
Wilkinson recently sat down in an interview with Azania Masoka to discuss the issue of inequality and poverty. Listen to the full audio below to hear her thoughts on the topic.

Source: The South African

The South African Human Rights Commission.

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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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