Realising the right to food in South Africa requires more than an increase in food production. Increasing access to food is equally important, so this contribution adopts a ‘food systems approach’. It argues that food security is not just a national and/or provincial government concern but that the Constitution demands of municipalities to contribute to realising the right to food. Against the backdrop of a general introduction into the division of responsibilities between national, provincial and local government, it deploys two arguments to make this assertion. The first is located in the jurisprudence of the South African Constitutional Court...
There is growing concern around the impact of formal retailers and supermarkets, in particular on marginalised urban communities in developing countries. This report unpacks the impact of formal retailers on informal micro-enterprises through a case study in Philippi East township, Cape Town. The cases focuses on a high street precinct which encompasses a number of formal food retailers and supermarkets. Supermarkets are the main supply of household food (in value terms), with residents spending about one third of their food purchases at one of three outlets.
In this report, we examine the determinants of child malnutrition using the Birth to Twenty data, a cohort study of children born in Soweto-Johannesburg in 1990. In particular, we focus on the causes of low height-for-age, or stunting, at age two, the measure most commonly used to capture chronic undernutrition in children. The consequences of stunting in early childhood have been widely studied across various disciplines, and include impaired cognitive function, poor schooling outcomes, reduced earnings in adulthood and poor maternal reproductive health outcomes (Walker, Chang, Powell & Grantham-McGregor, 2005; Victora et al. 2008; Dewey & Begum, 2011).
This working paper draws on the proceedings of a ‘National Workshop on School Feeding in South Africa’, convened in November 2017 by the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security. Workshop participants engaged with unresolved debates in school feeding, notably its objectives and impacts, which include food security and nutrition, education access and outcomes, intergenerational poverty reduction, employment creation and support to local agriculture. In South Africa, the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) currently provides meals to over 9 million learners. The NSNP has two other pillars – Nutrition Education and Deworming, and Sustainable Food Production – but 96%...
Farm workers are an integral component of the economy and the food system in South Africa. Yet they are invariably poor, food insecure, marginalised and vulnerable to exploitation. Pro-farm worker legislation since 1994 has provided some protection, but it has also been associated with violations of labour rights and an accelerating pace of evictions and casualisation. Moreover, because agricultural employment is concentrated at specific times of year, seasonal farm workers face an under-reported crisis of underemployment and seasonal hunger.
We recognise that producers, processors, distributors and consumers are incorporated into the food system under varying terms and returns. We also recognise the economic, social, human and environmental health impacts associated with food security. Therefore our goal is to conduct research, build capacity and disseminate findings that will promote a sustainable food system in South Africa.
Our research is concerned with the scale, nature, causes and consequences of food insecurity in South Africa and elsewhere on the African continent. Thus our mission is to investigate products, technologies, processes and policies that can reduce food insecurity and mitigate its negative outcomes. We seek to make a difference to food security by linking innovative science with critical enquiry.