Vulnerability to Social Risks through the Lens of Food Security : A Mixed Methods Study at the Household Level in Cape Town, South Africa

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Karlstads universitet

Sammanfattning: Abstract Background The number one goal of the United Nations (UN) Agenda 2030 is to eradicate poverty. The second goal is to end hunger. The impact of climate change on food production is likely to exacerbate already widespread hunger by a negative effect on the supply of food, which again will increase the gap between the rich and the poor. Deficient food security is considered a result of failing local and national economies and political weakness. African urbanization makes food security increasingly challenging. In South Africa, more than half of the country’s citizens live in poverty. Cape Town is seen as one of South Africa’s most pressured cities with great social vulnerability. Rapid urbanization and a prolonged drought in the Western Cape have strained the city’s resources and food prices are rising. Purpose The purpose of this study was to explore and explain the vulnerability to social risks through the lens of food security. Specifically, the aim was to describe the scale and experiences of food security at the household level, focusing on young adults in South Africa. Methods A comparative mixed methods design was used, comparing three strategically chosen communities from a race and class perspective. A survey using the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES) sampled 902 households. Additionally, six focus group interviews were conducted. The methodological foundation of this study lies within the transformative paradigm, seeking participation and collaboration at community level for empowerment to change. Data were interpreted through an intersectional perspective on risk and the Pressure and Release-model was used to explain vulnerability. Results Results indicate significant differences in food security between the white, black African and coloured areas. The black African and coloured communities indicate high food insecurity, whilst the white community stands out as generally food secure. Focus group data confirm and explain the survey results. Conclusions Racial history and social class determine the opportunities of the young in South Africa. Food insecurity persists as a result of the progression of vulnerability. The risk of hunger imposes a great challenge for the future and wellbeing of South African youth. The history of colonialism and apartheid combined with the neo-liberal economy are viewed as root-causes driving vulnerability. The drought, enforced by climate change, increases the risk of hunger by adding more pressure on those already vulnerable.

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