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THE STATE OF URBAN FOOD
INSECURITY IN CAPE TOWN
Jane Battersby. (2011). “The State of Urban Food Insecurity in Cape Town.” Urban Food
Security Series No. 11. Queen’s University and AFSUN: Kingston and Cape Town.
AFRICAN FOOD SECURITY URBAN NETWORK (AFSUN)
The STaTe of Urban food
InSecUrITy In cape Town
URBAN FOOD SECURITY SERIES NO. 11
AFRICAN FOOD SECURITY URBAN NETWORK (AFSUN)
conTenTS 1 Introduction 1 2 Methodology 2 3 Cape Town’s Poor: A Poverty Profile 4
3.1 Household Composition 4
3.2 Employment and Unemployment 6
3.3 Alternative Livelihood Strategies 8
3.4 Household Income 10
3.5 Lived Poverty 12 4 Levels of Food Insecurity in Cape Town 13 5 Determinants of Household Food Insecurity 16
5.1 Food Insecurity and Household Structure 16
5.2 Food Insecurity and Household Income 18
5.3 Food Insecurity and High Food Prices 19
5.4 Food Insecurity and Shelter 20
5.5 Food Insecurity and Urban Agriculture 21
5.6 Food Insecurity and Social Protection 22
5.7 Food Insecurity and Migration
1. InTrodUcTIon Cape Town is the second largest urban area in South Africa, with a population now approaching 4 million.1 The city is home to just over 7% of South Africa’s population and had an average annual growth rate of 3.2% between 2001 and 2007, while the national growth rate was just 1.3%.
Migration accounts for about 41% of the annual population growth of the city and natural increase the rest.2 Although Cape Town contributes 11% to South Africa’s GDP, the formal sector only experienced a 0.6% growth in employment between 2001 and 2004. Unemployment and poverty rates are increasing annually.3 As a result of its particularly rapid growth, the city faces a number of development challenges, including rising poverty, a housing backlog of 300,000 units and extensive urban sprawl.4 The apartheid-era planning model consigned the poorest sections of the population to the periphery of the city. The legacy of this model is restricted access to the formal economy and a significant strain on urban infrastructure.5 In addition, the national energy crisis and regional water scarcity may constrain future economic development.6 These development challenges, together with the unsustainable spatial form of the city, have increased poverty and reduced food security for the urban poor of Cape Town.7 The relationship between poverty and food insecurity has been well documented in rural settings, including in the Eastern Cape from which many of Cape Town’s migrants originate.8 However, this relationship is not well understood in urban settings where poverty rates are high.
The prevailing view is that food security in Sub-Saharan Africa is fundamentally an issue of improving rural food production, and that this will automatically resolve escalating food needs in urban centres.9 In South Africa, the evidence shows that malnutrition rates are rising in urban areas, notwithstanding the fact that the country is nationally food secure and has a well-developed agricultural sector.10 South Africa’s population is already more than 60% urbanised and is expected to reach 80% by mid-century.11 Meeting the food security needs of the country’s population is – and will be – an increasingly urban challenge. Addressing food insecurity in cities like Cape Town is therefore essential, not simply because access to food is a constitutional right but also because access to adequate, nutritious, hygienic and culturallyimportant food can assist the City’s developmental aims.12 The negative impact of food insecurity and hunger on individuals, and therefore on the places where they live and work, is well-documented.13 The cumulative 2 African Food Security Urban Network (Afsun) impact of many undernourished individuals places significant limitations on the economic and social development of the city. Making the food system work for the poor can therefore have significant positive impacts on the economy, employment, environmental sustainability and health costs.
The African Food Security Urban Network (AFSUN) was formed in 2007 to address the challenges associated with rising poverty and food insecurity in the rapidly growing cities of Africa.14 AFSUN’s first major undertaking was to plan and implement a baseline urban food security survey in the SADC region. The survey was completed in late 2008 and early 2009.15 This report presents the survey findings for Cape Town, focusing on the food insecurity of the city’s poor communities. While income poverty is an important dimension of food poverty, the report also examines the influence of gender, housing and other household variables on levels of food insecurity in Cape Town. The report examines the food geography of Cape Town and the food sourcing strategies of poor urban households. Finally, it explores the relationship between food insecurity and health. The conclusion draws together the major policy questions that arise in relation to poverty and food security in Cape Town, with a view to providing an evidence-based platform on which to build future strategic responses to urban food insecurity at the metropolitan level.
2. MeThodology The AFSUN Urban Food Security Survey was conducted simultaneously in eleven cities in nine SADC countries: Blantyre, Cape Town, Gaborone, Harare, Johannesburg, Lusaka, Maputo, Manzini, Maseru, Msunduzi and Windhoek. The survey instrument was collaboratively developed by the AFSUN partners and utilized a series of food security assessment tools developed by the Food and Nutrition Assistance (FANTA) project including (a) the Household Food Security Access Scale (HFIAS) scale in which households are allocated to categories according to weighted responses to nine questions. The HFIAS scale provides an image of absolute access to food and access to appropriate food choices; (b) the Household Food Insecurity Access Prevalence Indicator (HFIAP) which groups scores on the HFIAS scale into four main categories: severely food insecure, moderately food insecure, mildly food insecure and food secure; (c) the Household Dietary Diversity Scale (HDDS) which asks what foodstuffs household members ate in the previous day. All foods are placed in one of 12 food groups, giving a maximum score of 12 and a
The STaTe of Urban food InSecUrITy In cape Town urban food security series no. 11
minimum of 0; and (c) the Months of Adequate Household Provisioning Indicator (MAHFP) which asks how many, and in which months, households had adequate food within the last year.16 The survey also posed a further series of questions on household composition, income, housing, sources of food, migration and health.
The survey as a whole gathered data on 6,453 households and 28,771 household members across the SADC region. In Cape Town, a total of 1,060 households were surveyed in three poor areas of the city: (a) Ocean View; (b) Brown’s Farm in Philippi (Ward 34) and (c) Enkanini & Kuyasa in Khayelitsha(Ward 95) (Figure 1). The survey was conducted in September and October 2008 using fieldworkers from the local community, the University of the Western Cape and the University of Cape Town. A total of 266 households were interviewed in Ocean View, 389 in Philippi and 394 in Khayelitsha.
These three different sites were chosen in order to capture any intra-city variations in the food security experience of the urban poor. Ocean View was founded in 1968 to accommodate Coloured households displaced by the Group Areas Act, and includes many households forcibly relocated during the apartheid era. The area has strong links to local fisheries which might impact on the food security of the population. Unlike the other two areas, it is also located close to wealthier suburbs which could provide additional job opportunities.
Brown’s Farm (Ward 34) in Philippi and Ward 95 in Khayelitsha are both newer and rapidly growing areas. They attract residents from both rural areas and other urban areas in the city who move to obtain access to land, housing or employment. Ward 34 is located near to the Philippi Horticultural Area (PHA), a 1,500 hectare section of farmland surrounded by informal settlements. According to the Municipal Development Partnership for Eastern and Southern Africa (MDPESA), 60% of the PHA is under cultivation.17 Although urban agriculture is a “marginal activity” in Philippi as a whole, MDEPSA and the Resource Centres on Urban Agriculture and Food Security Foundation (RUAF) feel that the area has considerable potential for urban agriculture. The choice of Brown’s Farm for this study was influenced by the possibility of assessing the current and potential role of urban agriculture in household food security.
Enkanini & Kuyasa (Ward 95) in Khayelitsha is located on the periphery of the city and is predominantly populated by recent migrants to Cape Town. As there is a debate on the role of rural-urban links and migration in urban food security, Ward 95 was chosen because of the opportunity to examine the relationship between migration, rural-urban linkages 4 African Food Security Urban Network (Afsun) and food security.18 As this report demonstrates, there are indeed differences in the levels and determinants of food insecurity in these three sites. However, the local characteristics which led to the choice of these areas play less of a role in shaping food insecurity than other more general features of the urban environment that are common to all three areas.
The STaTe of Urban food InSecUrITy In cape Town urban food security series no. 11 Male-centred households were the smallest, with a mean size of just 3.0.
Over a quarter (27%) of male-centred households were single-person households (compared to only one in ten female-centred households).
This can be attributed to the length of establishment of settlements, with the population of Khayelitsha consisting of many recent migrants, who are often single adult males. Single-person households were more prevalent in Philippi and Khayelitsha than in Ocean View.
Figure 2: Household Structure in Cape Town Study Areas Percentage of households The mean age of the members of the surveyed households was 27 years.
However, there was considerable variation from area to area (Figure 3).
Ocean View (the oldest of the three areas) had a mean age of 31 and a mean age of 52 for household heads. In Philippi, the figures were 26 and 46 respectively, and in Khayelitsha (the newest of the three areas), they were 23 and 40. In other words, the more established area of Ocean View has a generally older population profile than the newer settlements in Philippi and Khayelitsha.
6 African Food Security Urban Network (Afsun)
3.2 Employment and Unemployment Wage employment is the primary source of household income in the three communities. However, only 52% of the total working age population were working full or part time (Table 1). Nearly half (48%) of the working population were therefore unemployed. The unemployment rate did vary from area to area: Ocean View had the lowest unemployment rate (at 38%) while in both Philippi and Khayelitsha around 53% of the population was employed. The primary reason for this difference is geographical.
Ocean View is located adjacent to several wealthy suburbs (Noordhoek, Fish Hoek and Glencairn) where there are better employment prospects.
Philippi and Khayelitsha, on the other hand, are a significant distance from sources of wage employment. The apartheid urban model of racial separation and locating black South Africans on the periphery of the city The STaTe of Urban food InSecUrITy In cape Town urban food security series no. 11 appears to still impact upon the ability of households to access the urban job market.
The most common forms of employment were domestic work (19%), skilled manual labour (16%), unskilled manual labour (15%) and service sector work (13%) (Table 2).
Only 3% had informal business/trading as their main occupation which suggests that the poorest households are not participating to any significant degree in the informal economy. The relative importance of each employment sector varied from site to site. In Ocean View, for example, the most common forms of employment were skilled and unskilled labour 8 African Food Security Urban Network (Afsun) (at 23% and 20% of the employed population) followed by domestic work at 13%. Although Ocean View was selected because of its association with the fishing industry, only 17 individuals (around 4%) were involved. The pattern differed in Philippi and Khayelitsha, where domestic work was the most common form of employment (at 24% and 19% respectively). This may be related to the higher proportion of female-centred households in these sites as domestic work is a highly gendered occupation. In general, employment in all three areas was dominated by low-skill, low-wage work. There was a smattering of teachers, health workers, civil servants and police but the numbers were small (less than 5% in total).