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Income inequality after apartheid

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  • Jeremy Seekings
  • Murray Leibbrandt

    ()
    (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town)

  • Nicoli Nattrass

Abstract

This paper investigates changes in and patterns of income inequality in South Africa during the post-apartheid period 1994 to 2004. While findings show a rapidly growing high-income African population (a trend that began before 1994 and continued thereafter) as well as rising real wages for workers in formal employment, overall levels of income inequality have not been declining This is due to rising unemployment and a small informal sector that have therefore left unchanged South Africa's high level of income inequality. If anything, overall inequality has worsened. Inter-racial inequality has decreased while intra-racial inequality has increased. Opportunities have improved for some African people in South Africa, but not for all: a lack of human and social capital leaves many with little chance of rising out of poverty; AIDS-related mortality and morbidity are likely to exacerbate stratification and further increase inequality.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town in its series SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers with number 075.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ldr:cssrwp:075

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  1. Aliber, Michael, 2003. "Chronic Poverty in South Africa: Incidence, Causes and Policies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 473-490, March.
  2. H. Bhorat & J. Hodge, 1999. "Decomposing Shifts in Labour Demand in South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 67(3), pages 155-168, 09.
  3. H. Bhorat, 1999. "The October Household Survey, Unemployment and the Informal Sector: A Note," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 67(2), pages 143-146, 06.
  4. Haroon Bhorat, 2003. "The Post-Apartheid Challenge: Labour Demand Trends in the South African Labour Market, 1995-1999," Working Papers 03082, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
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