Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series on income inequality and poverty reduction in various countries around the world.
Last month, a fresh wave of protests in South Africa against migrants—who are often accused of “stealing jobs”—again brought attention to the country’s high unemployment rate and sluggish economy. Meanwhile, the government is considering a hike in the minimum wage, the effects of which are being fiercely contested by economists and politicians. In an email interview, Johannesburg-based consultant David Ansara discusses how the country’s legacy of inequality is shaping the ongoing debate.
WPR: What are the roots of inequality in South Arica, and has the phenomenon worsened or improved in recent years?