Almost a quarter century after the end of apartheid, pay in SA remains among the most unequal in the world. In an International Labour Organisation (ILO) comparison with similar economies, the best-paid 1% received less than 10% of all wage income outside of SA; in SA, their share was close to 20%. Unequal pay reflects, in part, persistent inequalities in education. Apartheid explicitly set out to limit the pool of skills so as to inflate the earnings of people with formal qualifications. Today, the economic rewards to higher and further education in SA are still unusually large. Almost 75% of adults with post-secondary education are employed, compared to just over 50% of people with matric. Once they get a job, people with a post-secondary education can expect a median income three times as high as those who leave school with only matric. For a university degree, the figure rises to five times as much. High returns to post-secondary education have persisted, despite a rapid expansi...

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