Inequality expert on South African national news channel eNCA

28 August 2019
SA-TIED

An expert with the SA-TIED programme was interviewed on an eNCA national news broadcast as the results of a recent SA-TIED Working Paper on widespread poverty and inequality cause concern in the country. Professor Murray Leibbrandt, who co-authored the paper with UNU-WIDER Research Fellow Simone Schotte and SALDRU expert Rocco Zizzamia this year, was asked about some of the study’s key findings.

Among those were the startling statistics that 8 out of 10 South African households experienced poverty at least once during the decade-long study from 2008-17; the South African middle class is smaller and more precarious than previously thought; and that half of South Africans experience chronic poverty. The study also attempted to track the causes of poverty entries or poverty exits for households — with findings that reassert the need for access to quality, stable employment in the country, especially for historically marginalized groups.

Professor Leibbrandt emphasized both the need for employment creation on the jobs supply-side and the need for skills and education upgrading on the jobs demand-side, especially for people who have historically lacked access to opportunities for high-quality education or technical training.