South Africa: Caught in the Grip of Hunger and Poverty

ROKPA runs a street kitchen in Johannesburg, which has been operating for 20 years in Africa's most powerful commercial city. It's aim is to reduce extreme poverty and hunger.

South Africa's economy is in bad shape: The extremes of wealth are stark - in 2011, Statistics South Africa estimated that in the city of 4.4 million South African citizens, 1 in 4 people of working age was unemployed. Opportunities to earn money can be found in agriculture and mining slate, but the wages are extremely low. The local population suffers from poverty and hopelessness and drug addiction is widespread.

In addition, studies have shown that children in this region are often abused – affecting about 60% of the girls and 40% of the boys. In hardly any other country on Earth so many girls and women are raped as in South Africa, with many victims not only suffering psychologically from the consequences of the abuse, but also becoming infected with HIV at the same time.

Facts & Figures

Population:53.7 Million
Gross Domestic Produce per head (US$):12'700 (Switzerland: 55'200)
Unemployment rate:25%
Life expectancy at birth:62 Years (Switzerland: 82 Years)
Doctors per 1000 inhabitants:0.78 (Switzerland: 4.08)
Underweight children under 5 years of age:8.7% (Switzerland: none)
AIDS patients:6'270'000 (Switzerland: 18'000)
AIDS Prevalence rate: 19% (Switzerland: 0.4%)

Source: CIA - The World Factbook as of 16th of June 2015