White South Africans still top of the income pile

A recent survey shows that white people still sit comfortably atop the pile of income earners in South Africa.

The latest South Africa Survey, published by the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR), shows that for 2008 white South Africans made considerably more than other races. According to the survey, the average per capita income in South Africa for that period was R32 599, while per capita income for white people was R135 707.

Indians had the second highest per capita income at R56 173, with coloured South Africans at 27 569 and black South Africans the lowest at 19 496.

Although the SAIRR notes that the income gap between South Africans is narrowing, it questions whether this is happening quickly enough. Says researcher Marius Roodt: “The closing of the income gap between whites and Africans, in particular, is imperative.

“Such large disparities in wealth between population groups do not bode well for the future stability of South Africa.”


The survey also shows that between 1998 and 2008, all race groups showed a “significant” increase in income of 154%. This was broken down into an increase of 180% for black South Africans, 148% for coloured people and Indians, and 154% for white people.

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