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Richest 1% owns 42% of SA’s social wealth - Oxfam

Oxfam says new data has shown the levels of inequality in many African countries are far higher than previously thought.

FILE: An Oxfam report has found 7 out of 20 of the most unequal societies are in Africa. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Charity NGO Oxfam says new data has shown the levels of inequality in many African countries are far higher than previously thought.

Oxfam has released a report on inequality ahead of the World Economic Forum on Africa which kicks off in Durban on Wednesday.

The report shows that seven of the twenty most unequal countries in the world are African.

Oxfam's Winnie Byanyima says: “In South Africa just 3 billionaires have the same wealth as the bottom 50% of the population (that’s 28 million). South Africa’s richest 1% owns 42% of the country’s social wealth. This is not a formula that can work to lift everybody else from poverty.”

In January, the NGO revealed that a study entitled 'An economy for the 99%' had found that eight of the world's richest men owned the same wealth as half of the world.

Oxfam claims one in 10 people survive on less than US$2 a day.

South Africa has been found to be one of the world's most unequal countries, with a Gini coefficient of around 0.66.

The Gini coefficient is a measure of income inequality, with 0 indicating a totally equal society and a score of 1 showing a totally unequal one.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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