Briefing Paper

Issues of Increasing Levels of Poverty and Hunger in Africa, with Specific Reference to South Africa

“The majority of people in African countries, especially in South Africa, live subsistence livelihoods below the poverty line. Poverty is a condition characterised by a lack of basic needs such as water, health care, foods, sufficient access to social and economic services, and few opportunities for formal income generation. This paper assesses the issues impacting on higher levels of poverty and hunger, and suggests an alternative policy framework for improving the wellbeing of the region’s poor. In view of the causes of poverty and its predominance, poverty alleviation addresses constraints at the root of poverty. The premise of the paper is that including the poor is an important and progressive step in any attempt to sustain growth, development and socio-economic transformation in Africa, with South Africa as a case study.”