'Whites cannot carry this country'

Statistician-General Pali Lehohla wants to see an increase in the number of black graduates.

FILE: Statistician-General Pali Lehohla. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe says the Community Survey is one of the tools that government uses to gauge the gains made since taking power in 1994 and is a strategic tool for the achievement of the National Development Plan.

Statistics South Africa released its findings last night, which is a large-scale household sample survey done to bridge the information gap between two censuses.

The data was collected from 1.3 million households across all South African communities and provides statistics on a range of categories including population, health and migration.

The numbers show that while there has been a decline in poverty, perceived challenges at a municipal level are water supply, the cost of electricity and inadequate employment opportunities.

Access to electricity for lighting has increased to 90.3% in the last 10 years.

Radebe says government remains committed to improving the lives of South Africans.


The survey has revealed the number of years that people attend school and that unemployment remains the key driver of poverty.

Statistician-General Pali Lehohla says while there has been an increase in the number of people completing degrees, the figures are disproportionate to the population's demographic.

"Now, as we move around here, for every one black person there would have been six whites in terms of graduation."

He says the decline in black graduates needs to be tackled.

"This is a challenge and you can see the proportion in absolute numbers. This cannot carry this country and whites cannot carry this country. The numbers are too small."


According to the results, most provinces reported a decline in the poverty between 2011 and 2016. The lowest poverty headcount was reported in the Western Cape at 2,7%, followed by Gauteng at 4,6%.

Approximately 13,3% of households in South Africa indicated that they had skipped a meal in the 12 months before the survey.

The province with the largest proportion of households that skipped a meal was the Eastern Cape at 17,6%, followed by Northern Cape with 17,5%.