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Research: SA one of most unequal countries

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CAPE TOWN – A political analyst says South Africa's economy is not where it should be more than 20 years after the first democratic elections.

Most experts agree it's worth celebrating how far the country has come since 1994, but many say much work is yet to be done to ensure all citizens can enjoy economic freedom.

The Guardian has posted findings from the Gini index revealing South Africa is one of the most unequal countries in the world in terms of income distribution.

Namibia, Haiti, Botswana and the Central African Republic are also at the bottom of the pile.

Daryl Glaser, head of political sciences at Wits University, says government has shown a considerable interest in addressing the needs of the poor.

“There has been a considerable transfer of wealth to the black population, and benefits and services, and various kinds of goods have been brought to poor people that they didn’t have before in terms of water, electricity and social grants.”

Glaser says, however, says those gains have taken place against a backdrop of continuous structural problems in the economy.

“It took place against the background of the external shock of the of HIV/Aids epidemic, which single headedly caused a huge setback in terms of South Africa’s progress towards a lower infant mortality and higher life expectancy. Arguably, we have begun to arrest that thanks to the ARV rollout, but it's still an underlying problem.”

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