E Cape remains SA’s poorest province

The Eastern Cape remains the poorest province in South Africa, according to the newly-published Poverty Trends report by Statistician-General Pali Lehohla.more
Lehohla said 36% of the households in the province survived on social grants, which was their main source of income. The province also had the highest percentage of poor households, with children receiving child support grants, compared to other provinces.
By mid-2017, the population in the Eastern Cape stood at 6.5-million people. The report further revealed that 12.7% of Eastern Cape households were classified as “multi-dimensional poor”.
Speaking to the Daily Dispatch yesterday, Lehohla said Eastern Cape leaders needed to improve the standard of education in order to change the living conditions in the province.
“Education has the potential to eradicate poverty and minimise the impact of the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
“Poverty is driven largely by unemployment. There are no short cuts to this. Education must be the priority of the leaders in the province.
“They must look at the report and understand it to be able to come up with solutions.”
The report showed that over 30.4-million people in South Africa are living in poverty. More than a quarter of the population survive below the food poverty line of R4.41, the amount of money required to purchase the minimum daily energy intake.
In his report, Lehohla said: “The last five years have been a rough economic roller coaster for South Africa, driven by a combination of international and domestic factors such as low and anaemic economic growth.”
He said continuing high unemployment levels, low commodity prices, high consumer prices, lower investment levels, greater household dependency on credit and policy uncertainty were some of the contributing factors.
Lehohla said recent infrastructure development and social wage policies such as free basic education and food security schemes have all led to improved living standards in the country.
However, he highlighted that the Eastern Cape still faced serious challenges of unemployment and poor quality of education.
The number of extremely poor people in 2006 increased from 13.4million to 13.8million in 2015.
Poor households spent the largest proportion of their total expenditure on food...

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