Fourteen million South Africans are now living in extreme poverty, surviving on less than a $1.25 a day.
Government statistics show that poverty levels have increased since 2011.
It is predicted South Africa will be one of 60 countries which will fail to meet the 2030 reduction target, despite development plans that have been put in place.
Almost a third of South Africans are unemployed, often relying on the government's social grants to survive. But with low economic growth, economists say this is not sustainable.
Al Jazeera's Fahmida Miller reports from Johannesburg, South Africa.