My study blog

inequality in South South Africa

Posted by lednum on October 31, 2006

It is true that in some areas of life, the lives of different ethnic groups are separate and unequal. However, in other areas progress is being made in bridging the inequality gap.

One area where different ethnic groups live separate and unequal lives is in education. In recent year there has been a clear improvement in Grade 12 exam results. Between 1999 and 2005 the exam pass rates went up from 48% to 70%. However, while Black South Africans make up 71% of all Grade 12 passes, only 5% of them achieved results which would get them into university. White students achieved 97% of the A passes, comprising only 13% of total candidates. Blacks received 88% of the F grades and comprised 95% of the candidates who failed. The statistics highlight the separate and unequal educational achievements in the lives of Black and White South Africans.

A further area of separation and inequality is health. There is a very strong private health service in South Africa. However, it is overwhelmingly used by whites who can tend to afford this. 38 million people have access to the R34 billion public health sector, and only 7 million (mainly whites) have access to the R45 private health sector. Moreover, it is estimated that 6.2 million South Africans are infected with HIV/AIDS. Those infected are overwhelmingly black South Africans. Many black South Africans stay in rural areas where health service are least developed. For example, in WesternCape, where many whites live, there are 37 doctors per 100,000 population, whereas in rural Limpopo, substantialy black, there are only 10 per 100,000. All these factors are evidence of a gulf between whit and black in health.


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