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SAIRR: Govt. has reduced dire poverty

The SA Institute of Race Relations says government has reduced high levels of dire poverty.

The SAIRR says government has significantly reduced high levels of dire poverty in the country. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) says its research indicates government has performed relatively well in uplifting the poor and improving living standards.

The institute has monitored living standard measures (LSM) over the past decade, which indicates there are fewer people living in dire poverty.

Currently about 16 million South Africans are dependent on state grants.

The institute's chief researcher Lerato Moloi says government has been lambasted for not doing enough, but she says their evidence proves otherwise.

"What our data shows is that in 2001 most people were situated in categories 1 to 3. But when we looked at the data for 2011, most people have moved to the middle category and quite a significant number have moved to the leading category."

Meanwhile, Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel says it will take almost 20 years to fully eradicate poverty.

The minister was speaking at the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry's annual general meeting on Thursday.

Manuel says one of government's big goals for 2030 is to triple the country's economy.

He says government's ambitious plan also includes a huge employment boost, which he says will be on way of fighting poverty.

He told business people at the Cape Chamber of Commerce healing the divisions of the past is central to how government improves the lives of all people.