• Class action

    Class action

    Just one in four South Africans are classified as part the ‘secure’ middle class or elite (stably not poor), meaning the country’s stable middle class may be smaller than previously thought.

    According to a Business Day op-ed, recent stats released by the National Income Dynamics Study – which surveyed 28 000 locals in 2008 and returned to survey them every two years – found that a quarter of those who were not poor in 2008 had become so by 2014.

    The study outlines five social classes – the elite, stable middle class, vulnerable middle class, transitory poor and the chronic poor. 14% were classified as vulnerable middle class, with around 13% as transitory poor.

    Meanwhile, using a monthly per capita expenditure range of ZAR2 920 to ZAR10 678 to define middle class, the study found that South Africa’s middle class forms around just 15% of the total population. The rest, about half of the population, are deemed chronically poor.

    3 October 2017
    Image: Gallo/Getty Images