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Big Issue of Social Inequality

In order to move forward as a nation, the system of legislation known as Apartheid and it’s legacy, needs to be dealt with through mindset transitions and societal actions by different societal generations from ‘early post-Aparthed’ to a nation of equality in order for all South Africans’ human rights to be upheld equally for all and to live as one democratic nation with the core value of ‘Ubuntu’, as stated in the South African Constitution under the Bill of Rights which highlights the democratic values of freedom and equality.

Inequality remains one of the single biggest obstacles to the attainment of human rights. The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) revealed on the 10th of June 2018 that between 2015 and 2016, the Commision received 9238 complaints regarding the lack of health care facilities in rural areas, specifically the Western Cape and Gauteng area. The failure to uphold these human rights is seen in the majority of cases in disadvantaged, under developed, rural areas where the majority of residents were black, such as the Cape Flats and Hillbrow area. This is an example of how marginalised communities are being confined to the lower edge of society and their basic human rights are not being adhered to. For example, the right to adequate health care and the right to education is being denied in Mokgoma Matlala Secondary School in the Eastern Cape, through the lack of basic, necessary facilities such as running water, which the school has not had access to since September 2019. Kagiso Mokobi, a learner from Matlala School stated, “ struggle to focus on days like these.” These factors go against the most important function of democracy as well as the Constitution of South Africa, Bill Of Rights, Chapter 2, Section 16 – which upholds and protects the fact that everyone has the right to freedom of expression, the right to education and the right to dignity. And so while these inequalities exist, South Africa cannot be democratic and Constitutional principles will not be upheld.

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Unemployment, which currently sits at 29% in South Africa, leads to the limitation of access to resources and basic necessities. For example, running water; without a financial income, from a stable job, basic necessities are unable to be afforded for. This ultimately leads to a rapid decrease in quality of life, leading to a never ending cycle of poverty. Economic inequality is linked to social inequality as it is described as the unequal distribution of income and opportunity between different groups in society. Economic inequality is also known as income inequality, wealth inequality or the wealth gap. The unemployment rate in South Africa is 26,6% while the unemployment rate in the US is just 4% which shows the drastic inequality, globally, between the different continents and their economical statuses. An example of economic inequality is the gender pay gap. The gender pay gap refers to the average remuneration for men and women who are working. For example, a women working in a glass making factory will earn R3000 (estimated) per month, whilst a man who has the exact same qualifications, works the exact same hours and has been working in that industry for the exact same period of time, will earn less than the man (approximately 20% less in South Africa). Women are generally paid less than men. This occurs globally, not just in South Africa and is strongly believed that men and women should be paid equal amounts if their employment obtains equal requirements, as in the amount of work they are required to complete. Female workers, on average, earn around R11,20 for every R14 rand a man makes, and the gap is even wider for women of colour, especially in South Africa, according to Julia Carpenter, CNN. This form of inequality, due to its intensive nature, causes much discord economically, between women of different ethnic backgrounds as some women already have to stretch it out until the next pay date, while men are aided in this, solely because they were born a man.

No one wants to invest in the South African market when the country is sitting in a position of financial difficulty, as depicted by the 2020 Budget Speech given by the finance minister, Tito Mboweni on the 29th of February, due to the new tax changes. For example the fuel levy rose by 16 cents per litre and the Road Accident Fund (RAF) increased by 9 cents per month. A further example, Eskom is currently sitting with R450 billion debt. Therefore with no new businesses investing in the South African market, no new job opportunities will be created which directly translates to the fact that there is now a smaller chance of improving the South African unemployment rate of 29% and the youth unemployment rate of 58.84%. A total of 46 665 people are employed by Eskom; meaning that if the company had to shut down, a further 46 665 people will be without jobs – drastically adding to the unemployment rate. The Government granted R230 billion over the next 10 years which leaves South Africa with the possibility of hope for the future that 46 665 people will not lose their jobs. This could also be an issue with regards to tax increasing to pay for Eskoms’ new Energy System in order to deliver more affordable power and guarantee continues capacity for South Africa, through the use of wind powered turbines. The manner that this reflects in society leads to an increased poverty rate, crime rate, strike action, protests and limited access to healthcare, due to the high levels of poverty, which leads to wealth inequality.

Although the Constitution is in existence, a set of laws is not solely enough to reform the divisions of the past, and thus the best way to correct imbalances from the past is through societal changes. It is important that these changes and decisions that are made by different generations is to learn from past experiences and the effects it had on the majority of South Africa, in order to move forward as a nation.

In order to move forward as a nation, it is important to first correct the imbalances and divisons of the past during Apartheid (1948-1994), through educational reforms, by empowering marginilised communities in order to break the cycle of poverty and by living lives of equality for all. The people of South Africa must learn from past divisions in order for history to never repeat itself. The Constitution that governs South Africa is only powerful to an extent and therefore society needs to correct past divisions.

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Big Issue of Social Inequality
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In order to move forward as a nation, the system of legislation known as Apartheid and it's legacy, needs to be dealt with through mindset transitions and societal actions by different societal generations from ‘early post-Aparthed’ to a nation of equality in order for all South Africans’ human rights to be upheld equally for all and to live as one democratic nation with the core value of ‘Ubuntu’, as stated in the South African Constitution under the Bill of Rights which highlights th
2021-12-21 08:11:54
Big Issue of Social Inequality
$ 13.900 2018-12-31
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