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One third of NC households are going hungry

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MEC says 114,247 households in the Northern Cape had inadequate or severely inadequate access to food.

File image. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News

THE NORTHERN Cape has the lowest number of households that have adequate access to food, where 32.3 percent of households are going hungry.

The MEC for Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Land Reform and Rural Development, Mase Manopole, during a virtual dialogue on leveraging public-private partnerships towards scaling up food systems in South Africa during and beyond Covid-19, said that 67 percent of households in the Province had adequate access to food.

She added that the Province was still trying to overcome several natural calamities, including climate change, drought and the invasion of brown locusts as a result of summer floods.

“We should be cognisant of the general household survey of 2018 by the Department of Social Development, which shows that about 11.3 percent (39,969 households in the Northern Cape) had severely inadequate access to food, more than double the country’s average at 5.2 percent,” said Manopole.

“Additionally, 21 percent (74,278 households) indicated that their access to food was inadequate. This means that 114,247 households in the Northern Cape had inadequate or severely inadequate access to food.”

Manopole said that in April 2020 it would cost R585 per person per month to afford the minimum required daily energy intake.

“This is also commonly referred to as the extreme poverty line. In the lower-bound poverty line it costs R840 per person per month in April 2020. This refers to the food poverty line plus the average amount derived from non-food items of households whose total expenditure is equal to the food poverty line.

“Lastly, in April 2020, the upper-bound poverty line of R1,268 per person per month was the food poverty line plus the average amount derived from non-food items of households whose food expenditure is equal to the food poverty line.”

She stated that high market prices made food inaccessible for many households.

“Food safety is one element that is often overlooked. Food safety is important and must be ensured from production through to distribution.”

Manopole believed that land reform without compensation was one of the issues that the Province needed to look into.

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