A fascinating graphic from The Economist tracks income levels for South Africans based on race over the period of Nelson Mandela’s life. Most interesting is how little the gap between white and black South Africans has closed in nearly 100 years. The much celebrated end of apartheid nearly 20 years ago did not slow down the accumulation of wealth among white South Africans.
Under its own majority rule, the lot of the ever-growing black population—today forming over three-quarters of the national total—has been notably poor. Misguided governance, low-quality education, skills shortages and massive unemployment levels of around 40% have left it more disadvantaged today than when Nelson Mandela was still behind bars. Black income has virtually flat-lined, betraying tremendous gulfs between the wealth of the different racial groups. Sadly, the nation Mandela leaves behind today remains one of the least equal in the world.