Registrations have officially opened for “The good, the bad and the ugly of food security in South Africa”, a webinar presented by FairPlay in partnership with Food For Mzansi.
On Wednesday, 25 August at 14:00 a panel of experts will lift the veil on how food security and social stability are interconnected. This, after widespread looting and anarchy in parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal not only crippled the economy in July, but also disrupted food security.
Suddenly, animals and poultry could not be fed, food could not reach the shops and hundreds of retail outlets were burned to the ground. In addition, a cyber-attack disrupted food imports and exports at South African harbours. The disruptions were soon over, but questions remain.
Experts, including FairPlay founder François Baird and development studies lecturer Dr Marc Wegerif, will explore top food security concerns and strategies to address this.
This includes enhancing the food supply chain to broaden access, improve affordability and increase availability of locally produced food.
Wegerif is a post-doctoral fellow at the Human Economy programme of the University of Pretoria. He is one of Mzansi’s top experts in food systems, food policy and land reform.
Also confirmed is Mervyn Abrahams, the programme coordinator at the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity Group. This organisation focuses on research and advocacy on issues pertaining to economic and social justice.
Food poverty line
Hamlet Hlomendlini, a senior agricultural economist, will address food security concerns in agricultural value chains and agro-processing. Previously the chief economist at Agri SA and agricultural economist at Standard Bank, he currently works in agricultural enablement at Absa.
The webinar comes against the backdrop that South Africa is regarded as food secure at a national level, but not at household level because poverty means millions of people still go hungry despite food being available. One in four people in South Africa live below the food poverty line.
The webinar will be hosted by Dawn Noemdoe, Food For Mzansi’s editor: audience and engagement.