Twice as Many South Africans Now Subsisting on $1 a Day

Poverty skyrockets in land of HIV and no jobs
By Marcia Greenwood,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2007 3:10 AM CST

(Newser) – The number of South Africans living on less than $1 a day has more than doubled in a decade since shortly after the end of apartheid, reports the BBC. Some 4.2 million people managed to eke out a living on a daily buck in 2005, according to a report of the latest statistics by the South African Institute of Race Relations. Officials attribute the upsurge in poverty to raging unemployment—as high as 26%—and the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

"Poverty is something we are likely to see for many generations," warned an author of the report. Poverty will be a key focus of next month's African National Congress as members choose a possible successor to President Thabo Mbeki. Unions are already backing former deputy president Jacob Zuma, who has  criticized Mbeki for not doing enough to fight poverty.