"South Africa is a complete global outlier in terms of its inequality and how inequality has been persistent over time," says Sandeep Mahajan, World Bank lead economist for South Africa. The bank has developed a Human Opportunity Index, which it has started applying for the first time in the country. According to the Word Bank, the factor that matters most in a child's ability to advance in South Africa is his/her "location" with respect to access to opportunities and services such as water, sanitation, electricity, healthcare and education. Children who grow up in townships, informal settlements and rural villages are at a distinct disadvantage.
Reporting on the World Bank's findings, Polity argues that "in the labour market, inequality of opportunity in employment is high, while the situation was particularly challenging for young workers, as well as residents of townships, informal settlements and rural areas."