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Urban Forum

, 19:243 | Cite as

Beyond the Metropolis: Small Town Case Studies of Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture in South Africa

  • Alexander ThorntonEmail author
Article

Abstract

It is widely accepted that urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) is an important livelihood or coping strategy amongst the poorest urban households for food security and income generation in developing countries. In South Africa, UPA has been promoted in the post-apartheid era as a strategy for poverty alleviation in several key policy documents. However, despite high unemployment, some academics have raised the issue that UPA might be less robust amongst South Africa’s urban poor households, when compared to other developing countries. This paper presents results from case studies exploring the nature and geographical extent of UPA in one of South Africa’s poorest provinces, the Eastern Cape. Key results include that the social welfare scheme has, effectively, emerged as the primary contributor to household income and food security. Consequently, UPA does not play a major role in food security for most UPA households. This paper will discuss these results and reflect on the bearing of UPA as a tool for poverty alleviation in South Africa.

Keywords

Geographical information systems Informal sector Livelihood Urban agriculture Small town South Africa Squatters 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

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