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Rhodes University (2020)

Urbanisation, foraging and household food security in urban South Africa

Garekae, Hesekia

Titre : Urbanisation, foraging and household food security in urban South Africa

Auteur : Garekae, Hesekia

Université de soutenance : Rhodes University,

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2020

Résumé partiel
Over the past several decades, the world’s population has been rapidly urbanising, which has resulted in a marked shift of global population from rural to urban areas. About half of the global population now reside in urban areas and is projected to increase to two-thirds by the year 2050. However, the majority of the future urban population growth is projected to be largely concentrated in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the economic prospects normally synonymous with urbanisation, the current speed and scale of urban transformation comes with formidable challenges to contemporary urban society in these two continents. Urbanisation may presents social, economic, health and environmental challenges in urban areas, not least being a shift of the locus of food insecurity from rural to urban areas, leading to poor dietary diversity among many urban dwellers. Similarly, urbanisation alters key ecosystem services and drives habitat alteration and fragmentation, biodiversity loss, proliferation of non-native species and changes on species diversity and richness. The aforementioned changes can result in a deterioration of living conditions and decline on the quality of life for the urban dwellers. However, on the other hand, urban green infrastructure is posed as vital tool in promoting liveable cities and enhancing livelihood resilience. Against this backdrop, this study portrays wild plants, a component of urban green infrastructure, as a key resource in promoting food security and dietary diversity, thereby promoting livelihood resilience and reduced vulnerability, especially of the urban poor. Framed under the ‘right to the city’ approach, this study examined urban foraging practices and their potential contribution to dietary diversity and how they are shaped by and respond to urbanisation in two medium-sized South African towns. The study was conducted in the towns of Potchefstroom and Thabazimbi, South Africa. An explanatory sequential mixed method design was employed for data collection. Multi-stage sampling was employed in selecting the study participants. Firstly, the study towns were stratified into four socio-economic zones : informal, reconstruction and development programme, township and affluent

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