Living Below the Breadline
Food Security in South Africa

Many people in South Africa, both in rural and urban areas, live on the side of poverty that has them unable to access a reliable stream of sufficient and nutritious food. 

©Eric Miller
Khayelitsha, an informal settlement in Cape Town.

Whether they are dependent on social welfare or simply waiting for the next paycheck, many families know what it feels like to have to cut back on food or go without. South Africa Online ® looks at how the impoverished access food and are affected by different states of poverty.

A Household's Ability to Access Food

What determines a household's ability to access food? The factors comprise a vast and overlapping network of forces: whether they have money...more

A Main Income From Social Grants

In South Africa, it has already been shown how significant social grants are for easing some of the worst degrees of poverty, which in turn ...more

Alternative Ways of Sourcing Food

Being dependent on short-term casual work is risky. By its very nature, it ebbs and flows unpredictably. So some of the other strategies fam...more

Economy of a Squatter Camp

The economy of Sonskynhoekie (an informal camp for the impoverished) is a no-frills affair, rudimentary but functional. Some live off pensio...more

Food Gardens for the Urban Poor

It is January 2011 and part of the sandy rectangle at the back of Linah’s house in Witsand has been pulled under a loosely stretched green...more

Food Insufficiency and Mental Health

Food insufficiency is a state when a person does not have enough food to eat either ‘sometimes, or often’, according to Dr Katherine Sor...more

Food Security and Disease in Slums

Our cities’ economies and infrastructures cannot absorb the number of people flowing in from the countryside year after year. Many newly u...more

Real Life Story: A Food Insecure Family

Temvelo tackles her breakfast the way any seven-year-old might, with the ambivalence of someone in a no-man's-land between the tugging deman...more

Real Life Story: A Squatter Camp Resident

Cornelia’s story typifies the kind of wily survival needed for those who fall out of the formal sector and have to find other ways to make...more

Real Life Story: A White Squatter Camp

Keeping this generation of city dwellers fed and properly nourished is about making sure we can all tap into the abundant but sometimes inac...more

Real Life Story: Helping the Community

Mapheello keeps her own family going on what her husband Thabiso sends home from his work on the mines. 'When I have vegetables in my garden...more

Real Life Story: Life in a Township

Dinner in the Ncani home is nothing fancy tonight: a cup of mealie meal, stirred up in an aluminium pot, its lid pockmarked with wear; a cup...more

Real Life Story: Losing a Daughter

They came to Linah Ncani’s house on the edge of Witsand, near the Cape’s factory enclave of Atlantis, on that Tuesday. Your daughter is ...more

The Hungry Season

There is a term that comes from the farming world: the hungry season. It refers to those hollow months between when last season’s stores h...more

Urban Poverty

It is a myth that urban populations are healthier, more literate or more prosperous than people living in the countryside,’ writes the Voi...more

Urbanisation in South Africa

Urbanisation in Africa will be higher than the global average, predicts UN-Habitat in its State of the World’s Cities Report for 2006/2007...more