Reporting on a right to food conference

In March 2014 two representatives of the Hlakaniphani Women’s Group and the Sizonqoba Group, both groups working on food and livelihoods issues, participated in a 3 day “Right to Food” Dialogue in Grahamstown hosted by the Eastern Cape Agricultural Research Project.

Upon their return they shared their experiences and the main contours of the discussions that took place at the conference with 16 members of 5 community groups, Hlakaniphani, Usizo, Thembalihle, Bambanani, and Sizonqoba groups.

The discussions focused on food and dignity and the responsibility of the state as well as citizens, because of solidarity, to ensure that hunger is eradicated. Hunger exists currently in a global context where enough food is being produced to feed all people. It was also raised in the discussion that we do not experience a shortage of food but that the distribution and affordability of food is amongst the main causes of hunger.

The conference also provided opportunities to connect with other groups, in other parts of SA, who are engaged in similar struggles as them. Contacts were made with women’s’ groups in Msinga, Mtubatuba, Pongola and Abahlali base Mjondolo. Ntombifikile was delegated by the networking group to set up a ‘WhatsApp group’ to facilitate further discussion on the right to food and for cross learning and support.

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