|Overview : |
South Africa’s population is estimated at 59.6 million, of which 51.1% are women, according to the mid-year Population estimates. With an Upper Bound Poverty line of R992 in 2015, 49.2% of adults live below the poverty line, a breakdown of which reveal 46.1% of males and 52% of female and those below the ages of 35 bearing the highest poverty burden. With a Gini-coefficient of 0.63 in 2014/2015, inequality is amongst the highest in the world with over half (52.6%) of all household expenditure accrued by the richest 10% of the population.During the first quarter of 2020, unemployment rate increased to 30.1% from 27.6%, same period last year. Women faced levels of unemployment at 32.4% compared to men at 28.3% while the youth’s unemployment rate hit 41.7%. With the overall expanded unemployment rate of 39.7%, women unemployment was 43.4% compared to men at 36.5%. Eastern Cape, Free State, Mpumalanga and North West recorded the highest unemployment rates at 40.5%, 38.4% and 33.3% and 33.2% respectively with Gauteng’s unemployment rate at 31.4%
With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, poverty and inequality worsened. The Socio-Economic Impact of COVID-19 study by the UN under the technical leadership of the UNDP stated that those in the Informal sector, unskilled and semi-skilled workers, and those with low levels of education and low access to technology were the hardest hit. Black Africans and female-headed households dominate in all the categories of the most affected by poverty and COVID-19.
The overall objective of this assignment or study is to build resilience to shocks for individuals working in the informal sector particularly women and hence contribute to policy response of poverty and inequality reduction in South Africa