Incomes of black South African households have surged 169 percent in a decade, but whites still take home six times more money 18 years into all-race democracy, a national census showed Tuesday.
The country’s third democratic survey Census 2011 highlighted apartheid-era inequalities despite blacks making up nearly 80 percent of the 51.8 million-strong population and whites less than ten percent people.
“These figures tell us that at the bottom of the rung is the black majority who continue to be confronted by deep poverty, unemployment and inequality, despite the progress that we have made since 1994,” said President Jacob Zuma.
South Africa’s population has increased by 6,950,782 million since the 2001 count with overall household incomes more than doubling and strides made in rolling out basic services like piped water and electricity.
Overall, the average household income now stands at 103,204 rand ($11,900, 9,200 euro), up from 48,385 rand in 2001.
“However, much remains to be done to further improve the livelihoods of our people especially in terms of significant disparities that still exist between the rich and poor,” said Zuma.
The statistics point to a growing black middle class with the majority race group’s household incomes showing the fastest growth to 60,613 rand ($7,000 or 5,400 euros) from 22,522 rand recorded in 2001.
But the statistics are still sharply skewed in favour of whites.
“White-headed households had the highest average household income at 365,134 rand per annum,” the report said.
Nearly two million people still live in shacks, which has risen by more than 100,000 since 2001, and more than nine million people live in a house.
The number of outright homeowners has grown from 4,625,300 to 5,970,852, of whom 4,919,563 are black which is an increase by more than one million from ten years ago.
Expanded unemployment among blacks was nearly 50 percent, while only around 10 percent among whites.
Mobile phone ownership has shot up from just under 32 percent 10 years ago to nearly 90 percent today amid a simultaneous decline in fixed line telephones.
Some 65 percent of people have no access to the internet.
Population-wise, the number of blacks has increased while whites have dipped.