According to the Poverty Line study released by Statistics South Africa, poverty among the country’s households has jumped by 100 percent in the past 21 years.
The study shows that COVID-19 has reversed the recent gains in the fight against poverty and hunger. It puts the food poverty line at R624 per person per month. However, when adding food and other basic items the poverty line sits at R1335 rand person per month.
“Comparative to the year 2000 the increase is almost at 100 percent but at the same time we need to understand that these increases are measures. They are not necessarily the actual support that should be offered or are indeed being offered to the needy. Poverty has been exacerbated by the COVID- 19 pandemic and we have seen that over the last months for instance with food parcels. We have seen the desperation of people flocking to KZN to dig for diamonds which turned out to be fake diamonds and recently we had the push in the streets with the looting,” Dr Ronald Ngam from the Luxemburg Foundation explains.