Household vulnerability to food insecurity in rural South Africa: evidence from a nationally representative survey data

SOURCE: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2021
TITLE AUTHOR(S): S.Mthethwa, E.Wale
KEYWORDS: EASTERN CAPE PROVINCE, FOOD SECURITY, KWAZULU-NATAL PROVINCE, RURAL AREAS
DEPARTMENT: Inclusive Economic Development (IED)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 11850
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/15880
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11910/15880

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Abstract

Using a nationally representative dataset from rural areas in South Africa, the study examines vulnerability to food insecurity using the Vulnerability as Expected Poverty framework. The dataset used was large and comprehensive to develop robust profiles of vulnerable households. This is executed employing the sustainable livelihoods framework. The findings show that human and financial capital plays a critical role in making rural households resilient from vulnerability to food insecurity. The failure of natural resources to support agricultural livelihoods emerged as an important factor for rural household vulnerability to food insecurity. Gender-based imbalances still prevail, explaining most of the rural household vulnerability to food insecurity. Female-dominated households still endure most of the prevailing vulnerabilities to food insecurity, and this is even worse for households headed by younger females. Policies, strategies, and institutions in South Africa have not been able to address household vulnerability to food insecurity. The study identified Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal as the most vulnerable provinces where food policy has to be a top priority agenda.