CMN Project 6


When we think about inequality in South  Africa, maybe the firs thing that comes to our mind is racism. Racism used to be a clasification of people, by deviding and judging them according to their skin colors. Imagine a society which devided in two; ‘’whites and blacks’’. Whites are superriour to blacks just because they have lighter skin and due to the belief that white people have more abilities or qualities.(1) The discrimination was even supported and was legal because of  brutal and restrictive racial regime called apartheid. Apartheid lasted between 1948-1994, during the gouvernement of  National Party with the idea of extending ‘’political and economic control of South Africa by the white minority.’’ (2)  Discrimination based on racism engaged to a new level with apartheid and  played a huge role in South African society.

Gini Index and Inequality

Gini index also known as ‘’the Gini coefficient is a measure of statistical dispersion intended to represent the income distribution of a nation’s residents.’’ Gini index is used to measure inequality by using  frequency distribution such as levels of income. If the gini coefficient is 0(zero) then it’s a perfect equality where everyone’s income is the same. If it is %100 (or 1), it means that the inequality is at a maximum rate. (3) (4)


As it can be seen in the table, in 1975 that lowest rates of the Gini coefficient belong to white population. This means that white section of the society has a greater chance to get a well-payed jobs and have a constant income. According to apartheid, black Africans had a strict rules of getting a job; the gouvernement limited job oppurtinities to only low-rated jobs. As consequence, black Africans didn’t have a chance to be well-payed, they have the highest gini index in 1975.

Nelson Mandela and Post-apartheid South Africa

Nelson Mandela joined the African National Congress(ANC) in 1944. He was strongly agains apartheid; he became a symbol of anti-apartheid movement. He stood against  a  South  Africa which is ‘’white-ruled British dominion’’ and represented  republic and ‘’it’s majority –black population’’.  In 1994, after the apartheid he was elected President of  South Africa. (7)


As we can see through the data, South Africa had the most inequal Gini index between 1960-1985 just after the arrestments where ANC was banned. The lowest Gini index was when apartheid ends due to the limitations of getting a job was demolished. As Mandela steped down as president in 1999, the Gini coefficient started to grow, so does the economic status of people from different races. It is remarquable that even if black population has the biggest percentage through time, yet they have always gained less then others.