The Bureau for Economic Research is an academic research unit that conducts surveys and studies into the various economic factors that make up life in South Africa. They have recently released the results of their Household Income and Expenditure patterns and trends for 2007-2008. Statistics always lag reality but what do these new figures have to say?
- White people still control the economy
- Gauteng is still the richest province
- Food is the biggest budget item
The statistics may lag behind reality but the basic pattern and trend will more than likely be the same now as it was last year. The key finding are that in the highest earnings categories whites still control the economy with 81% of the highest income groups being white. However the "The African population has shown marked gains with respect to the R50-100k, R100-300k and R300-500k income groups."
Gauteng is still the richest province with 52% of all income going to people who live there. Food is the largest expenditure item for everyone but the less money you have the more you spend as a percentage on food. Nationally 23% of income is spent on food but "31% of Africans' income is spent on food. As more of them migrate to higher income echelons, their expenditure on housing and electricity increases while their percentage spend on food decreases."
These inequalities are structural products of history. They will take a long time to level but in the meantime the best thing that anyone can do is to plan a budget and not live beyond your means.