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5 - 1 Percent of the Planets People small

The Widening Gap between the Rich and the Poor


According to an Oxfam report recently published, the richest 1% hold over 50% of the world’s wealth. According to the report, 62 billionaires own the same amount of wealth as 3.5 billion people who make up the poorest half of the world’s population. In a dramatic widening of inequality, this number has fallen from 388 in 2010, and is set to become just a handful of super rich by 2020.

The wealth held by the 62 richest people on the planet is estimated at $1.76 trillion, a 44% increase from five years ago. Meanwhile, the 3.5 billion poorest people have seen their wealth shrink by over a trillion dollars, or 41%, in the same period.

This is despite the fact that the world’s population has increased by 400m. To look at it another way, the richest 1% now own half of the world’s wealth while the richest 50% own over 99% of the world’s wealth, leaving the poorest with less than 1%.

The rich-poor gap in South Africa follows this trend. This is certainly not conducive to achieving a safe, high employment and prosperous South Africa. With the impact that the 4th Industrial Revolution will have on our country, we would be very wise to rise to the challenge to develop all our people to become resourceful and resilient. This is exactly the goals of the BBN SAVision2020 5-Star Community Challenge, developed as an all-South African plan. Becoming Future Smart and Future Ready, while we have this window of opportunity, would be the most responsible decision we could make as citizens and communities, so that we build and leave the best legacy possible for our children and posterity. BBN – Building Bridges Nationwide of Hope and Scope.

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