CoE Articles

Food insecurity: Is South Africa at risk?

Published May 20, 2015, by Mologadi Makwela

Professor Julian May, director of the Centre of Excellence in Food Security (CoE-FS) will present the work of the CoE-FS at a luncheon hosted by the Minster of Science and Technology, Mrs Naledi Pandor, following the 2015 Science and Technology Budget Vote.

Food Security is recognised both in the Freedom Charter of 1955 and our Constitution that establishes the right to food. “South Africa’s policies, plans, Constitution, and the very principles of our democracy, affirm the importance of food security and nutrition,” says Professor May who is based at the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

According to the Committee on World Food Security – whose High Level Panel of Experts includes the CoE-FS co-director Professor Sheryl Hendriks of the University of Pretoria – food security as exists when all people at all times have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences, for an active and healthy life.

Research undertaken by the CoE-FS focuses on understanding the changes taking place in the global and South African food system and how these affect the sustainability, availability, access and attributes of food.

Professor May will talk about the goals of the CoE-FS and how these will contribute to national key priority areas outlined in the National Development Plan. Professor May will also outline the plans by the CoE-FS to contribute towards achieving food security and nutrition for all.

The CoE-FS is actively engaged in policy reforms that relate to food security, and is supporting national, provincial and municipal government in the elaboration of policies and the development of appropriate programmes with which to implement them.

Launched in April 2014, the CoE-FS is an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology/National Research Foundation. The Centre is jointly hosted by UWC and the University of Pretoria, and is physically based at UWC. It is the first DST-NRF Centre of Excellence to be hosted at a historically black university.

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