Poverty and Inequality: Facts, trends and Hard Choices

"The discussion was marked by the tension between the need to focus on inequality per se as opposed to focusing on mass poverty and unemployment as the best way of improving the quality of people’s lives. Some participants argued that addressing South Africa’s high levels of inequality might be a precondition for achieving higher levels of economic growth. Others argued that the country ought to focus on the large number of people living in poverty, and pay less attention to how income is distributed. Some asserted that inequality might lead to political instability and social conflict; others suggested that high levels of unemployment were so corrosive that job-intensive economic growth should be the overriding priority, irrespective of the impact on inequality in the short-term."