By Gaby Ndongo (2 mins read)
More than 20% of South African households did not have enough food in 2017 although the country had national food security, according to a recent report released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA).
The percentage is dependent upon the variation in population groups, household heads, household size and food security that exist in the nine provinces.
Food security means that “all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life,” states the International Food Policy Research Institute on its website.
Access to food by Province
With regards to the provinces, North West (64, 0%) and Northern Cape (66, 5%) had the lowest levels of adequate food access; Limpopo (93, 6%) and Gauteng (84, 0%) banked the highest levels of adequate food access.
Limpopo’s level of adequate food access can be partly attributed to its household agricultural activities, which is mainly conducted to “supplement food for the Household” whose main source of income is social grants, read the report.
Limpopo contributed 25% of about 2.5 million households that were involved in agricultural activities such as; producing fruits, vegetables, grain, other food crops, livestock and poultry farming.
Gauteng had the largest percentage (25, 2%) of households (1.7 million households) experiencing hunger with Limpopo being the last. This is attributed to Gauteng’s large urban population, which in contrast to other provinces has one of the lowest numbers of households involved in agricultural activities.
The “households with larger household sizes were more likely to have inadequate or severe inadequate access to food compared to those with smaller household sizes,” explained the report.
Access to food by race
On the other hand, different race groups have distinguishable levels of food security. White South Africans have a greater level of food security than that of Black South Africans.
Urban areas banked the highest number of children aged five years or younger who were hungry during 2017. Northern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal topped the list.
“The higher the number of children aged five years or younger in the household, the higher the chances of that household to experience hunger,” explains the report. TOJ
Reporting by Gaby Ndongo. Edited by Amber Richardson.
Feature image: Fruits and vegetables.
Image courtesy: Pixabay Stock Photos.