'SA's inequality levels not sustainable'

Shacks on the banks of the Jukskei River in Alexandra township. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

CAPE TOWN – University of Cape Town (UCT) Vice-Chancellor Max Price on Monday warned that the levels of inequality in South Africa are not sustainable.

He said if these problems are not addressed, the powder keg will explode.

Max made the comments during a Press Club briefing on poverty and inequality.

Price said 60 percent of the country’s income is being accrued by just 10 percent of the population.

Max said inequality has increased within all race groups, but the most substantial growth in inequality was seen in the African group.

He said figures from 2008 showed 54 percent of the population was living below the poverty level, with a monthly income of just R515.

Max said the biggest cause of inequality and poverty was the lack of access to work.

In September, UCT will host a conference on the issue.

A total of 19 tertiary institutions will attend and over 300 papers will be presented.

Earlier on Monday, the ANC Youth League led a march to the Western Cape Legislature to highlight the challenges facing the poor.

The League wants the provincial government to create jobs in order to bridge the gap between the rich and poor.

(Edited by Lindiwe Mlandu)