South Africa: The People Are Hungry - When Will You Listen, Mr President?


This Friday is World Food Day. It comes at a time when millions of people in South Africa face daily hunger and millions more fear hunger will get worse if special Covid-19 grants are ended this month. In this guest editorial, frontline activist Joanie Fredericks sets out the challenges that confront our communities every day, and appeals to President Ramaphosa to listen to activists who are battling to protect people's rights to sufficient food.

I have been an on-the-ground activist for over 30 years. Growing up in the rural farming community of Grabouw, roughly 70kms outside Cape Town, I witnessed many human rights abuses. Even in my own childhood home, abuse was the order of the day.

The abuse I witnessed and personally experienced drove my passion to one day become a human rights lawyer. My path changed course but did not veer too far from my dream. Many years ago, when I moved to Tafelsig, Mitchells Plain, the poverty and hardships experienced by the community struck a chord inside me.

I felt obligated to help in any way I could.

I started a non-profit organisation that dealt with socioeconomic issues on a holistic level. I did this with funds...

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