How Food Secure Are South Africa’s Cities?

  • Jane Battersby
  • Gareth HaysomEmail author
Part of the World Regional Geography Book Series book series (WRGBS)


Food insecurity in South Africa remains a persistent challenge. Traditionally, food insecurity has been seen as affecting rural areas only, and this perspective had previously informed, and is still informing, policy and food security responses. South Africa is over 60% urbanised and yet policies and mandates regarding food security do not reflect this shift. This chapter seeks to answer the question ‘how food secure are South Africa’s cities?’, describing the state of food insecurity in South Africa’s cities, but also highlighting the specific nature of urban food insecurity. The chapter argues that food insecurity is the result of poorly framed and mandated policies, that food insecurity is driven by changes in the food system, and that spatial and structural issues also drive food insecurity. These challenges are reinforced in cities where the food insecure rely on the market as a means to ensure food availability. South Africa’s cities are food insecure and will remain so within the current market and governance regimes.


Food security policy Food systems Informal food economy Nutrition Urban food systems 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

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