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Koch, Josee
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
Country Study No. 21
[Introduction] South Africa is unlikely to feature at the top of the agenda at any international dialogue on food security. The country is a net exporter of agricultural commodities and has a high per capita income, even for an emerging economy. There are no tight foreign-exchange constraints, and the country is not landlocked. The innovative constitution entrenches the right to adequate nutrition, and this is the basis of the national Integrated Food Security Strategy (IFSS). Taking these features into account, one could easily conclude that food ought to be available and accessible in South Africa at all times. But is this conclusion correct? The confusing reality is that despite all the favourable indicators and South Africa's national 'food-secure' status, about 14 per cent of the population is estimated to be vulnerable to food insecurity, and 25 per cent of children under the age of six are reckoned to have had their development stunted by malnutrition (HSRC, 2004). Against this backdrop of contradictions between positive macro trends and indicators and the challenging reality on the ground, the IFSS should be explored further in order to deepen our understanding of policy directions and priorities on food security. The analysis in this report leads to an overall conclusion that the IFSS is an excellent strategy on paper and a relevant framework for different stakeholders, but in reality it lacks implementing power and is therefore not used to its full potential. (...)
Document Type: 
Research Report

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