White South Africans have considerably higher quality of life than Coloured, Indian/Asian and black South Africans.
That’s the finding of a Fast Facts report released this week by the South African Institute of Race Relations (IRR). The report also shows that Gauteng and the Western Cape have a significantly higher quality of life than other provinces and rural areas.
In South Africa’s Quality of Life: A Brief Reading, the IRR presents its newly developed Quality of Life Index, which seeks to track the country’s progress in improving living standards by comparing indicators across South Africa’s nine provinces and the four major race groups.
Each of the 10 indicators are translated into a score of between 0 and 10. A score closer to 0 shows poor performance, and a score closer to 10 shows a better performance. Each province and race group then has an aggregate score, which shows the overall quality of life for that province/race group.
The findings were:
• The White population comes out top for quality of life with a score of 8.1 (when murder data was excluded) with Black South Africans scoring the worst with a score of 5.2 (when murder data was excluded). When a nationally averaged murder rate was used, the white and black populations scored 7.9 and 5.4 respectively.
• A clear urban/rural divide emerges, with more urbanised provinces such as Gauteng and the Western Cape coming out strongly, both with an aggregate score of 6.4. The Western Cape could have beaten Gauteng to the top spot were it not for the high murder rate in the province.
• Limpopo and the Eastern Cape have the worst quality of life with scores of 5.0.
Report author Gerbrandt van Heerden says, “the index also shows that black South Africans have a far poorer quality of life than Indian/Asian and Coloured South Africans. And it’s particularly these inequalities within the broader ‘black’ population that do not receive sufficient policy attention, and should be addressed through policies that will grow the economy, create jobs and bring better service delivery and therefore quality of life.”