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Vavi: Poverty decline too slow

Jul 17 2013 07:53 Sapa

Union bosses like Cosatu's general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi are fat cats, says a Fin24 user. (Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Since the start of democracy poverty in South Africa has declined too slowly, Cosatu secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi said on Tuesday.

"Forty-four percent of the South African workers are working for a loaf of bread a day. That's all they can afford," Vavi said.

"Poverty has come down, no doubt since 1994... The reality is that poverty has declined but too slowly than we would have wished."

Vavi was addressing a panel discussion hosted by the Young Professionals Forum at the Gordon Institute of Business Science in Johannesburg.

The young professionals forum was started in 2008 and serves as a platform for young people and professionals to discuss the issues of the country.

Vavi said poverty, inequality and unemployment were still major problems in South Africa.

With the current levels of unemployment, South Africa was back where it was in 2008 when the global recession hit, he said.

"Before the world crisis hit us in 2008, we were already in a serious crisis because of the history we have and because of the country we inherited," he said.

Vavi said the workers' strike at Lonmin's Marikana mine, in the North West in August last year, was an indication that the working class was losing patience.

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zwelinzima vavi  |  economy  |  poverty
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