octobre 16, 2020

The Right to Food in South Africa

Nokutula Mhene and Busiso Moyo

A POLITICAL ANALYSIS


Photo: UN Photo/P Mugabane

What is the Right to Food and how is this managed in South Africa? The food system in capitalist-driven economies continues to be vested in the hands of a few large profit-hungry corporates.

Discussions surrounding an individual’s Right to Food are complex, as are the many aspects of government policy changes required to achieve this in South Africa.

This paper unpacks the politics surrounding the concept of the Right to Food and the pitfalls to achieving this goal.

Introduction

Discussions surrounding an individual’s Right to Food are complex, as are the many aspects of government policy changes required to achieve this in South Africa. Our research explores the extent to which macroeconomic politics affect the Right to Food. It can be argued that states operating within a neoliberal dynamic that are not fully in control of their food supply chains, and that persistently operate within this logic, cannot credibly guarantee the Right to Food for their populations. The food system in capitalist-driven economies continues to be vested in the hands of a few large profit-hungry corporates. Is food increasingly being used as a means of oppression? We argue that it is and that this form of oppression is twofold. The first being actions or methods that destroy access, while the second is exclusion from food or food producing resources. While the continued pursuit of the Right to Food using the notion of food security may appear noble, few will realise this right under a capitalist dispensation.In order to achieve the Right to Food, countries need to adopt food sovereignty as opposed to food security as a means of realising this right. Agrarian reform that fails to limit tendencies of primitive accumulation will perpetuate the status quo where countries and communities produce food within a food system that denies access to many. What is the Right to Food and how is this managed in South Africa? This paper unpacks the politics surrounding the concept of the Right to Food and the pitfalls to achieving this goal.