The statistics on poverty in South Africa are alarming. Over seventy percent of working-age adults are unemployed. Fifty three percent of the South African population lives below the poverty line, with forty five percent being children below the age of 16. .
The effects of poverty in South Africa can be seen throughout the country with no one being sheltered from it. Once, I discovered a homeless family who had taken shelter in my garden without my knowledge. They remained there for weeks until the winter cold forced them to start a fire in order to keep warm. My family decided to let them stay knowing that they had know where else to go. The family must have stayed for a month or two before the police found them and directed them to move. Where they were expected to go, I have no idea.
Unfortunately, with differences such as these, the middle class is barely noticed, which leaves the only the rich and the poor. As in the case of the homeless family I discovered in my garden, some live wherever they are able to find shelter. This is just once example of how two completely different classes interact in the same suburb, street, or sometimes even share the same address. .
As sad as it may seem, generally, the rich ignore the poor, while the poor harass the rich. This harassment is normally for necessities such as food or clothing. The rich have a tendency to frown upon the less fortunate as if it was an irritation. This problem is widely acknowledged, however, there are not enough people who are prepared to help this terrible situation as it gets progressively worse.
The extreme poverty in South Africa makes it very diverse. There are two distinct groups: the rich and the poor. The two groups live totally separate lives, with one ignoring the other. Until there is a unified outcry to correct this crippling situation, South Africa will remain poverty stricken and forever divided.