Impoverished whites cannot be wished away

Adv Anton Alberts

The state cannot merely wish the increasing impoverishment of white South Africans and other minorities away because they are, statistically speaking, irrelevant in comparison to the black masses, Adv. Anton Alberts, the FF Plus’ parliamentary spokesperson on Social Development says.

According to reports in today’s Beeld Mr. Pali Lehola, statistician general of South Africa, said there is too little poverty in white households to include it in calculations of indigent.

According to census documents reported on in the newspaper, there is no statistics on poverty for white households, while only 0,4% of Indian households are viewed as indigent. 40,3% of black South Africans and more than 20% of brown households are calculated to be indigent.

Adv. Alberts said it is well-known that poverty amongst white people has in the past two decades consistently increased and that government policy in particular, such as affirmative action, has played a huge role in this.

“It is shocking that Statistics South Africa (SSA) has acknowledged that it does not have any statistics about white impoverishment. This, while people who do upliftment work in the so-called white squatter camps, calculate that up to 800 000 white people are housed in these camps.

“Compare it to the number of white people in the country and the percentage is enormous. The government cannot whish this problem away. Just because a minority makes up a small part of a large majority in the population, does not mean that they are irrelevant.

“One such example is the approximate 66 000 Transnet pensioners who are currently involved in a court case against Transnet and government and whose income places them in the category of truly poor people.

“The FF Plus welcomed the undertaking of SSA to do a survey of levels of poverty and inequality in the country, but warned at the time already that they should see to it that white, brown and Khoisan people are included in this survey.

“Following this worrying comments of Mr. Lehola, we are even more determined to see to it. It is shocking that the state’s policies are creating this poverty amongst minorities which the government is now ignoring.

“If SSA says that they do not know where to find the impoverished people, the FF Plus will take them to the poor,” Adv. Alberts says.


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