Map of the Limpopo
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Poverty is one of the most perennial problems afflicting the basin. According to the SADC Regional Human Development Report, about a third of the people of SADC live in poverty. Mozambique is listed as one of the most deprived nations with 50.7 percent of its population living in poverty. In contrast, South Africa has only 20.2 percent of its population living in poverty. In Botswana and Zimbabwe, poverty has been increasing since 1995.
The main causes of poverty in the basin include joblessness, lack of resources such as land and capital, and inadequate access to markets for the sale of goods and services.
The poverty situation in the Limpopo river basin is compounded by income inequalities. In the aftermath of apartheid and colonialism in South Africa and Zimbabwe, respectively, poverty and race remain closely correlated in both countries resulting in the formation of a dual political economy of inequality between the rich few whites and millions of impoverished blacks
The poverty situation determines whether one can live in the rich and plush urban settlements, rural areas or squatter settlements.