Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Book
Title The state of food insecurity in Msunduzi municipality, South Africa
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Publisher AFSUN
URL http://www.afsun.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/AFSUN_16.pdf
The Msunduzi Municipality (hereafter “Msunduzi”) is the provincial
capital of the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal (Figure 1).
The restructuring of municipal boundaries in 2000 created the newlyexpanded
capital city by combining Edendale, one of the largest urban
townships in the province, and Pietermaritzburg, the previous capital.1
The 2011 Census recorded over 600,000 people in 164,000 households
within the Msunduzi municipal boundaries.2
Like all South African cities,
Msunduzi shows signs of the apartheid legacy, including “uneven development
between city and suburbs, the spatial allocation of land – which
still runs along strongly racial lines – and the serious underdevelopment in
traditionally ‘black’ townships.”3
Nearly 20 years after the country’s first
democratic elections, high levels of unemployment and problems in delivery
of basic services indicate that improvement in the lives of the city’s
urban poor remains a major challenge. The dimensions of this challenge
have been explored in relation to issues including housing, water, electricity,
sanitation and health.4
However, food security has been given insufficient
attention in research on poverty and livelihoods in Msunduzi, and
KwaZulu-Natal more generally, and the research that does exist focuses
on rural food security.5
The Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for 2011-2016 of the Msunduzi
Municipality has nothing substantial to say about food security, other
than repeating President Jacob Zuma’s 2011 State of the Nation call for
a rural development strategy linked to land reform and food security.6
The 2010 Draft Strategic Environmental Assessment for Msunduzi does
contain several references to food security, however.7
For example, the
report notes that the municipality should “take steps to eradicate hunger,
malnutrition and food insecurity by 2015.”8
To achieve this objective,
the report proposes (a) an urban greening programme using indigenous
trees and, where appropriate, fruit trees, to enhance food security; and (b)
ensuring that most of the daily food needs of Msunduzi are sustainably
grown, processed and packaged in rural and urban agricultural schemes in
the city and surrounding rural areas.9
The report contains no information
or analysis on the extent and determinants of food insecurity in Msunduzi.
Rather than being based on substantive information about the state
of food security, the recommendations are generic solutions that reflect
broader, and problematic, thinking about urban food security in South
Africa and elsewhere.10
In order to better understand the nature and determinants of urban food
insecurity in Southern Africa, the AFSUN baseline food security surveywas implemented in 2008 and 2009 in 11 SADC cities, including Msunduzi.11
The Msunduzi questionnaire was administered to a sample of 556
households in the poorer parts of the city (Figure 2). The selected areas
represent different types of neighbourhood including new and old townships,
informal settlements and peri-urban areas with traditional housing.
Households were randomly selected for interview within each area. Based
on the results of the survey, this report does three things. First, it provides
the first detailed empirical analysis of the prevalence and determinants of
food insecurity at the household level in Msunduzi. The data provides a
substantive basis on which to think about the complex policy challenges
of mitigating food insecurity in the city. Second, the report examines
the issue of which households are most vulnerable to food insecurity and
which should therefore be targeted in any strategy to alleviate food insecurity.
And third, it examines the food sourcing and livelihood strategies
deployed by households and shows that current proposals for eliminating
food insecurity in the city need to be reconsidered

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