As the globe commemorates World Food Day today, many in South Africa simply cannot afford basic food stuffs. So what should be done?
The right to food remains the only constitutional right not legislated for in South Africa
Freedom from hunger and malnutrition is a basic component of dignity (as well as a health and economic imperative both for the individual and for the country as a whole).
The right of access to food gives us a tool with which to forge a society that protects that dignity. It is a tool that we urgently need to take up.
We urge the government to urgently reflect on its responsibility – and constitutional obligations – to the most vulnerable members of our society. Hunger and malnutrition must be consigned to the dustbin of history.
If you want to read more, you can download the SPII report, The Right to Food in South Africa (2015) (Executive Summary).
I heartily commend what The Oranjezicht City Farm Team has achieved since 2012 as a volunteer, educational, non-profit initiative and how it highlights this issue.
The story of the city farm Oranjezicht by Patricia Davidson & Adrienne Folb traces almost two hundred years in a narrative where the Table Bay landscape is inseparable from the Van Breda family’s ebb and flow over seven generations.
All that happened on their garden estate on the slopes of Table Mountain encompasses the wider history of South Africa: possession and dispossession, slavery, urbanisation, contestation of race, rights and resources.
It’s beguilingly told, packed with juicy tit bits and informative illustrations and brings history and heritage alive.
It reconnects us with our agricultural heritage and obligation to participate in our food choices – production and sourcing – that support a more just and resilient food system that benefits everyone.
Read it. Tell others. Pay it forwards by gifting friends – because it’s our back yard!