12 Mar 2013
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Section 27 of the South African Constitution guarantees the right to food. However, if one tracks the impact of inflation on the poor, one finds that their purchasing power is being eroded because the basket of goods on which the CPI is based is determined by the middle class and the elites, argues Isobel Frye, director of the Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute (SPII).
Worse, poor South Africans face even greater prejudices. Her organisation's research has found that the goods being sold in township supermarkets have a shorter shelf life, packaging is poor, origins of products are obscure and labelling virtually non-existent.
The poor carry a disproportionate financial and health burden as a result of this unfair system based on the dictates of the market.
Two important questions South Africans have to grapple with are: How do we make the right to food a realisable right? And how do we make food producers and retailers more accountable towards building a more caring and nurturing society?
Editor's Note: You might also be interested in this article on food production by SACSIS columnist, Glenn Ashton, "So Where Does Your Food Come From?"