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Stellenbosch University (2018)

Measuring rural household food security in the Nkonkobe local municipality, Eastern Cape Province of South Africa

Matebeni, Fezeka

Titre : Measuring rural household food security in the Nkonkobe local municipality, Eastern Cape Province of South Africa

Auteur : Matebeni, Fezeka

Université de soutenance : Stellenbosch University

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2018

Although South Africa is considered to be food secure at the country level, large numbers of households within the country remain food insecure (De Cock et al., 2013). Food inaccessibility in many rural areas of South Africa has manifested itself in many formats, *-but has positioned poor households to struggle to meet their basic household requirements and be more vulnerable to food insecurity. Details of such food insecurity, however, may differ (De Cock et al., 2013 ; D’Haese et al., 2013). The objective of this study was to measure and interpret the food security status of particular rural settings by examining households in the Sheshegu, Dyamala, Gqumashe and Roxeni villages of the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. Data was collected from 60 households using a survey questionnaire as the main instrument. The study utilised both a qualitative and quantitative approach. To obtain a representative picture of the food security status in this environment, the study used different food indicators, such as the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS), the Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS), Months of Adequate Household Food Provisioning (MAHFP) and Food Expenditure. Comparisons with a similar study in rural Limpopo Province of South Africa was also conducted. The results show that more than half of the interviewed rural households were food insecure. Thirty-one (51.7%) households were found to be severely food insecure, followed by 14 (23.3%) households that were moderately food insecure. Eight (13.3%) rural households were food secure, and seven (11.7%) were mildly food insecure. Household food security in rural areas is a significant matter, as it is necessary to have appropriate access to healthy foods to lead an active life. When comparing the Limpopo study conducted by D’Haese in 2013 and the selected villages of the Eastern Cape, the results show different findings in terms of the average household size and age of household heads. The majority of household heads interviewed in the Eastern Cape were female, at 55%, with 45% males, whereas in Limpopo males were dominating, at 60.5%, with 39.5% females. The results also show similarities between the study areas, such as having a lack of or low education, the high rate of food-insecure households (more than 50% of households were food insecure), and dependence on grants as their source of income. These studies illustrate that more than half of the household heads owned livestock, although this was not for food security purposes. Recommendations are made on actions to enhance and reduce the vulnerability of households to food insecurity in the Eastern Cape. Challenges such as improved gender equity, focus in the education system, labour market policy, natural resources management, infrastructural development, health awareness, lack of purchasing power/increase in household incomes and community support need to be addressed to improve the food security status of rural households.


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