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South Africa has been named as the most unequal country in the world. This is according to a report released by the World Bank in Washington, United States.

The report, released on Wednesday and titled Inequality in Southern Africa, said that South Africa ranked first among 164 countries. According to the report, race plays the determining factor in a society where 10% of the population owns more than 80% of the wealth.

South Africa’s neighbours like Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho and Namibia also feature high on the list due to their inequality. The four countries along with South Africa form part of the Southern African Customs Union.

News24 reports that gender also plays an important role in the lack of equality within the Union. In the region, women earn on average 30% less than men with the same level of education. The pay gap between men and women reaches 30% in Namibia and South Africa.

The report also said that land ownership inequality led to two countries standing out from the others.

“In Namibia and South Africa where inequality is distinctly higher than the rest of the countries, the sharp inequality in land ownership also contributes to perpetuating the historically high levels of income inequality.”

In Namibia, agriculture plays a significant role due to 70% of the 39.7 million hectares of commercial agricultural land “still belong to Namibians of European descent”, according to the World Bank’s report.

The World Bank noted that the report was done before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Image credit: News24

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