The attached article was published in Cape Town’s Weekend Argus on 7 March 2015:
Five years ago, at the plenary ses- sion on the final day of the World Economic Forum in Dar es Salaam, President Jacob Zuma argued uncontroversially that democracy must “improve the quality of life of ordinary people”, adding, with what his opponents would doubtless con- sider an ironic metaphor: “You can’t eat democracy.”
Democracy, of course, is not for eating – though the phrase is well understood and is a common enough refrain, the token of an unsatisfied hankering, or a gnawing disillusion- ment in our post-liberation enter- prise.
On the other hand, what democ- racy can do is enable people to change the way the greater food sys- tem is managed so that better nutri- tion and a healthier society are placed front and centre of policy ini- tiatives.
And that, Battersby argues, is whatcities,especially,canandought to be looking at in a more executive- minded way.
The growing acknowledgement of the role of cities is underscored by the commissioning of a study by the SA Cities Network – a policy adviser to metros – on food insecurity across all nine metropolitan centres.
Food policy analysts insist, though, that a first step must be an at least partial devolution of a man- date for food security to cities.
As Battersby noted: “The absence of recognition of the urban within the new (national) policy means that we are unlikely to see the develop- ment of policies and strategies that can have an impact in urban areas.”
And, with rising urbanisation, it’s the cities that are hungriest.”