A proposed framework act for food security in South Africa
South Africa is characterised by high levels of poverty and inequality. Often poor households suffer inadequate or unstable food supplies as well as poor nutrition. Food insecurity is exacerbating due to inter alia high food prices, high living costs, land reform programmes, political instability as well as continuing population and consumption growth. Climate change also has a significant impact on food security for future generations, due to the seasonal shifts and temperature changes. Food insecurity affects the enjoyment of the right to food. Section 27(1)(b) of the Constitution, provides for a right to food and section 27(2) provides the constitutional mandate of the state to take legislative measures for the realisation of this right. As to date of this study, South Africa has not as yet enacted a food security framework act as legislative measure for the progressive realisation of the right to have access to sufficient food. The principal objective of this study is accordingly to propose provisions that may be necessary for inclusion in a proposed South African Food Security Framework Act. Various aspects relating to the right to food, food security and framework legislation, is discussed in order to establish the need for a food security framework law in South Africa. Subsequently, provisions from similar South African framework legislation (namely the National Housing Act 107 of 1997 and the National Health Act 63 of 2003) are distilled in order to identify provisions that are common in framework legislation for the realisation of other qualified socio-economic rights. The legislative guidelines of the United Nations' Food and Agricultural Organizations (FAO) are then considered in order to identify and discuss the provisions (food related and general in nature) that the FAO deems necessary for inclusion in a food security framework act. Thereafter, the food framework acts of Brazil and Guatemala are outlined in order to determine what provisions other jurisdictions have included in their food security framework acts. The study concludes with recommendations of provisions (according to the findings of the various sections) for inclusion in the proposed South African Food Security Framework Act.
- Law