Too many South Africans still go hungry – Stats SA

Food insecurity remains at a high level in South Africa.

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A general household survey conducted by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) puts the number of South Africans who are ‘vulnerable to hunger’ at 11,5%. “Although the number has declined from 23,8% in 2001, the figure is still too high in a country that produces a surplus of food,” said Stats SA spokesperson Kgaugelo Motloutse.

South Africa has largely maintained its ability to meet national food requirements and to provide food in sufficient quantities and of appropriate quality to consumers, but “large-scale inequality and poverty mean that many households do not enjoy food security or adequate access to food,” said Motloutse.

According to the survey, inadequate access to food is particularly high in North West (32,9%) and the Northern Cape (29,7%).
Households in Limpopo – a relatively poor province compared to others – reported better access to food compared to any other province – including the ‘wealthier’ ones such as Gauteng and the Western Cape.

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The survey further shows that less than a quarter of households in SA are involved in ‘agriculture’, including activities such as growing vegetables as a hobby. Nationally, more than 84% of households that are engaged in agriculture do so to produce extra food for the household, while only 4,2% of households use agriculture to produce the majority of their food.