Despite its progressive constitution and policies that provide a social wage for a large percentage of the less privileged, SA is no country for its poor.
For a middle income country with the kind of resources that most other African states can only dream of, the poor in South Africa suffer a lot of unnecessary misery.
Just this weekend in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, a person died and over 300 shacks were destroyed by fire - leaving 1330 people homeless.
The causes of the fire are still being investigated, but what is clear is that shack fires are a pressing crisis that needs to be addressed urgently.
In Johannesburg alone, authorities say, emergency services record about 70 shack fires a month.
It never really matters whether the poor are in ANC-run or DA-led municipalities, as long as you are in an overcrowded informal settlement you live under constant danger of losing it all - including your life - to fire.
Yet there are steps that can be taken by the various spheres of government to minimise this danger.
This would include the rapid roll-out of affordable housing for the poor in overcrowded municipalities.