THE UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR REPORT AUGUST 2012
1. INTRODUCTION • The UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food’s mandate is to promote the full realization of the right to food and also promote the adoption of measures at national, regional and international levels. • The realization of the right of everyone’s access to adequate food and fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger is what underpins the work of the Special Rapporteur. • In line with the specified afore-mentioned mandate, the current Special Rapporteur Mr. Oliver De Shutter has requested to conduct a country mission to South Africa with the following objectives:
OBJECTIVES OF THE MISSION • To understand the co-operation and country frameworks in realizing the right to food of all South Africans, in particular national policies and programmes implemented by the Government to facilitate the availability of and access to food; • To engage Government officials in all spheres of Government and other relevant stakeholders in order to learn from South Africa’s efforts at addressing the food insecurity challenges; • To learn from South Africa’s experience in relation to legal protection and enforcement of this right. This is in line with the Constitution that stipulates that he right to have access to food and water is justifiable under the South African law.
2. KEY COMMENTS – RAISED NY UNSR • Why South Africa didn’t elevate the Integrated Food Security Strategy’s mandate to the level of the legislation. • The existence of the Social Protection Programme is a huge plus for the South African community to address socio-economic issues but access and public awareness created for the existence of such programme is still an that the Special Rapporteur thinks the State should work on it. • What are the respective roles of the spheres of Government in the implementation of the Food Security frameworks and does the autonomy of the spheres of Government not defy the intentions of the established frameworks. Herein referring to the National [responsible for policy formulation], the Provincial [policy implementation] and the Local Government.
KEY COMMENTS – RAISED NY UNSR cont.. • South Africa is having also an excellent land reform programmes but post settlement support is still an issue to ensure that the emerging farmers contribute positively to the national food available and also playing a meaningful role in the agriculture’s mainstream economy. • The in-access of markets by the emerging farmers is also an inherent challenge that the agriculture sector is faced with and what is the States analysis of this challenge is and what the current plans to deal with this issue. The issue of food prizes volatility is also as huge concern for South Africa’s food security given the fact that over 60% of the South Africans buys food instead of own production and what are the Government’s plans in addressing such challenges .
3. RESPONSES • The elevation of the current food framework into legislation would have created a lot of challenges for the State because South Africa as a young democracy inherited a lot of unjust society created by the laws of the past such as: i.e. the Masters and Servants Acts of 1911 and 1932 and the Natives Land Act of 1913 to mention but a few. If a State by then elevated food security framework into legislation it would have open up for abuse by the consumer protection organizations. It then opted to develop an IFSS which is the over-aching framework seeking to integrate all the socio-economic programmes of the State to act coherently in solving the challenges of food insecurity. • The awareness of the Social Assistance provided by the Government by the entire society to take advantage of it is not yet ascertained but the Department of Social Development through SASSA and their Community Development Workers are the primary custodians of community development [social grants]. The War on Poverty also assists in the creation of an awareness of such available programmes due to the referral system in this initiative.
RESPONSES cont… • The National Government is responsible for Policy and Legislation development, they also facilitate its implementation through the Provinces and also conduct Monitoring and Evaluation. The Province and Local Municipality develop and implement programmes from the policies developed by the National Government. The constitution therefore mandate every sphere of the Government existing and provide distinctive roles of every sphere over the other. • The current efforts of the development of the Zero Hunger Programme for South Africa are the attempts by Government to create exclusive and protected markets for the emerging agricultural sector. This will support primarily the land reform beneficiaries and also assist in the development of the shorter food value chain which will inversely curb rural food prizes hikes. This initiative will also contribute in economic distribution and the fight against poverty.
4. ADDITIONAL ATTACHEMENTS Annexure 1- • Question 1 : Background on the Food security Policy • Question 4 : Distribution of the public resources for access by the targeted groups • Question 6: Further information on the government strategies to resolve the following challenges: • Enabling small-scale farmers to access sourcing chains of large retailers. • Scaling up agro-ecology in South Africa • Reinvestment in extension services Annexure 2: comments made on the submitted report