As SA’s democracy approaches a quarter century, the country has made substantial development progress. Significant improvements of infrastructure — both physical and financial — have supported economic stability. The expanded provision of essential services has helped reduce access gaps in education and health for the previously excluded. The country’s economy has risen on the global stage and now ranks as the 39th largest in the world. Representing nearly a quarter of sub-Saharan African GDP, SA’s prosperity is not only important for its own people but essential to advance development in the African continent. At the same time, SA’s rising prosperity is accompanied by persistent poverty, elevated income inequality and continued high unemployment, especially for youth. A fifth of the population in 2015 lived on less than $1.90 a day — the international threshold for extreme poverty. Some 57% of the population remains poor, living on less than $5.50 a day — the poverty line for upper...

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