Africa Check says Mail Online’s claim of over 400,000 poor whites in South Africa is incorrect.
The non-profit organisation set up to promote accuracy in public debate and the media in Africa said the UK Mail Online claim is incorrect.
The media outlet in its report, claimed that more than 400,000 white South Africans live in poverty. Whereas national data, according to Africa Check, suggests that the number is less than a quarter of that.
Africa Check related based on latest estimates that there are less than 82,000 poor whites in South Africa.
Citing data from 2010/2011 Income and Expenditure Statistics South Africa Survey, Africa Check highlighted that only 42,115 white people lived below the official upper bound poverty line of R779 per person per month. Which was just a 0.9% representation of White people in 2011.
“When using a higher poverty line – which some researchers argue is more appropriate – the estimate increased to 82,573.
Poverty is extremely high in South Africa. But proportionately, very few white people live in poverty compared to other race groups,” Africa Check stated.
According to them, Mail Online referred to a measurement of absolute poverty (a specific income threshold or a fixed amount, below which individuals are unable to meet basic needs) to work out how many white people are poor in South Africa.
BuzzSouthAfrica learnt that Africa Check tweeted the journalist who wrote the story and emailed the Mail Online’s editor, but did not get a reply to the questions about the source of the claim.
The UK Mail Online report, headlined “The ‘WHITE squatter camps’ of South Africa”, screamed that “shanty towns built after the fall of Apartheid are now home to hundreds of families.”
The report thereafter, asserted among other things, the under-listed
- Working-class white people, most of them Afrikaans-speakers, are going through an intense crisis in South Africa
- This is one of 80 white squatter townships in country where families live in poverty, with little food or running water
- Seeking to undo years of racial inequality, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) government introduced laws that promoted employment for blacks and aimed to give them a greater share of the economy
- This, along with the global financial meltdown, has meant many white South Africans have fallen on hard times