Human Rights Day highlights our failure to provide food security for the masses

How is it possible that after 20 years of being a democracy, half of our people still go to bed hungry every night? Can we seriously claim that people enjoy basic human rights if more than 50% of our nation is starving?

 

According to a UCT study on access to food security, one of the key basic human rights, more than 50% of South Africans lack food security. Even more startling is the fact that more than 70% of the people in the poorer parts of the Western Cape, don't have access to food - zilch, nada, nothing.

 

Listen to this information. According to UNICEF, we have regressed over the past 20 years in terms of providing access to food security in our country. UNICEF reports that over 70% of our children are stunted physically and cognitively as a result of food insecurity. In other words, these children cannot grow properly or learn optimally because they are in starvation mode all the time. Sadly, these children are our nation's most precious assets. They are our future leaders yet they are literally at the bottom of the food chain.

 

These poor children are at our mercy. They depend on us to understand that their listless bodies, their inability to concentrate and their unruly behaviour are their language to cry for help. They know no other channel to communicate with us besides this sign language.

 

This denial of the basic human right of food security is an indictment on all of us in society. Somehow we have to push back and start making a difference.

 

As a start, we must encourage the development of food gardens at all our schools. Food gardens is a way of fighting back in a practical, sustainable way. Yes, we won't change the system, but we will be giving the children directly in our care, a head start. We have to...

 

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