Decline in poverty rate is a record for Mpumalanga Province

Monday, 04 November 2017

Mpumalanga is making good progress in reducing poverty rate. This was a bold declaration of MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Mr Sikhumbuzo Kholwane when he tabled the Provincial Adjustments Budget at the Provincial Legislature Chamber on Tuesday, 21 November 2017.

“We are the only Province that recorded a decline in poverty rate between 2011 and 2015 according to the lower-bound as well as the upper-bound poverty line,” said MEC Kholwane.

According to Statistics South Africa, the lower-bound poverty line was R647 per person per month in 2015 and the percentage of the Provincial population that was below the lower-bound poverty line decreased from 46.1 percent in 2011 to 42.6 percent in 2015, which translates to more or less 1.8 million people.

While this is a welcomed development, MEC Kholwane threw caution to the wind due to the troubling high-income inequality in the province which he said ‘it has not really changed since 2014’.

“We can fight poverty and inequality by increasing the level of education and skills, thus improving the employability of our people,” said MEC Kholwane.

He also emphasized a need for innovative ways of creating more sustainable jobs in order to reduce poverty, and ultimately contribute to the distribution of wealth in the Province.