South Africa: Our Children and Their Futures Are the Collateral Damage of the Food Insecurity Caused By July's Civil Unrest


The large-scale looting of food stores and burning of warehouses will have a negative impact on child malnutrition in the months and years to come. Not only is less food available, but livelihoods have been destroyed (on top of the damage from Covid-related restrictions of the past 18 months).

Whether in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic or during the current violent attacks and looting in South Africa, the needs of young children are often the last to be discussed. The youngest members of our society are among the most vulnerable because -- unlike adults -- they are unable to make their voices heard; they are unable to protest or advocate their rights (let alone riot and loot).

What will the future generation of skilled labour look like if we neglect the physical, social and cognitive early childhood development of children right now? What will the long-term impact be if we restrict our children's ability to reach their full potential, thus exacerbating intergenerational cycles of poverty?

On an ordinary South African day, according to the Grow Great Campaign in a Maverick Citizen article, "As we hit day six of violent protests, spare a thought for our children" (15 July 2021),...

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