Govt must prioritise fighting hunger - study

2014-10-16 17:23


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Johannesburg - Government must prioritise hunger alleviation, a study recommends.

"We are proposing a national act that will put hunger at the heart of government policies," Oxfam's economic justice campaign manager Rashmi Mistry said.

"All government departments must come together so that it is not just one department, like agriculture, that will be responsible for food security. It also involves rural development, social development...all government departments."

Mistry was speaking following the release of the study, titled "Hidden hunger in South Africa", which was intended to expose what hunger meant in South Africa and the fact that not enough was being done to address the issue.

The study found that a quarter of South Africans regularly suffered from hunger.

"South Africa is supposed to be a food secure nation, producing enough food to adequately feed everyone but the reality is that one in four people currently suffers hunger on a regular basis," Mistry said.

Risk of hunger

She said hunger stripped away people's dignity and perpetuated people's problems. More needed to be done for change to be effective in the country.

She called on the government to intervene and come up with legislation to help fight hunger.

According to the study, one in four people in the country suffered from hunger and an additional 28.3% were at risk of hunger.

It was undertaken in nine different municipalities in three provinces - Limpopo, Western Cape and Eastern Cape. The choice of provinces was based on the national poverty statistics from Stats SA in 2012.

SA Human Rights Commission deputy chair Pregs Govender echoed the sentiments and challenged government to take action. She said the government was aware of the statistics but had done nothing about the problem.
Read more on:    johannesburg  |  poverty

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