1 September 2014

South Africa: Op-Ed - Hunger in the Land of Enough


Despite being a middle-income country, South Africa has a long and shameful history of those in power ignoring the needs and the interests of the majority. Colonial and subsequent Apartheid laws reduced black people in South Africa to merely being cheap labour to service the needs of these economies.

Poverty, inequality and hunger, while visible in the faces and cupped hands of people at traffic lights in middle-class neighbourhoods, largely continue to be felt most in townships, informal settlements and rural areas which are often located far away from economic and suburban hubs.

What do people do when they cannot afford sufficient food? They reduce their food intake and eat cheaper and less nutritious food. Many people go without. This places an added burden on food insecure households, making them far more susceptible to obesity, diabetes and other diseases related to poor nutritional habits.

What has been the response of the government, and the private sector in addressing the cost of hunger in South Africa? This was the topic of a two-day workshop attended by not-for-profit organisations, research and academic institutions, grassroots organisations and government officials. In discussing the cost of hunger in South Africa the main...

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