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Oxfam SA accuses rich of dodging taxes, using power to influence politics

The think tank released a report into the causes and possible solutions to the high levels of economic inequality.

Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - As global leaders prepare for the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Oxfam South Africa says economic inequality is much greater than feared, accusing the rich of dodging taxes and using their power to influence politics.

The think tank released a report into the causes and possible solutions to the high levels of economic inequality.

The research found that three billionaires in the country have the same wealth as the bottom 50%.

Oxfam South Africa’s Ayabonga Cawe says there are flawed assumptions that drive the economy of the richest 1% in the country.

“The market is always right, the role of the public sector must be minimised, and corporations must be set up to maximise profits and shareholder returns.”

Research by the organisations shows that the richest 1% of South Africans own 42% of the country's total wealth.

Oxfam has called for a "human economy" which will see, among other things, a greater inclusion of women in the economy and corporations working for the majority.

For more news, analysis and insights on Davos 2017 go to EWN’s WEF portal in partnership with Ashburton Investments.