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Scenario 3: Kernels of truth?

Food in the political economy

This scenario explores the impacts of a rising cost of living and the actions and impacts of those most affected by hunger

 
 

 

Question

Will the government and the private sector work together to address inequality and unaffordable food prices?

 
 

What if...

rising living costs and broken government promises catalyst a powerful and organized national response from those most affected by hunger?

Food is examined as...

a product of the political economy

This scenario is driven by...

food prices and the affordability of food in the South African context, hunger, organized social movements and the relationship between market and the state

 

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The Scenario

It is 2015 and Global economic pressures and the depreciation of the rand combine with existing local vulnerabilities like water scarcity and load-shedding to push up food and energy prices. The millions of South African families who already battled to place a meal on the table are worse off than ever. 

Fearing social upheaval, the government makes a series of promises to the poor as part of their 2019 election campaign, but in the aftermath, such promises are broken in fear of antagonising the business sector. 

The Right to Food Coalition, which is launched by civil society, channels the rage of betrayed and hungry citizens into a million-person march. 

In the face of a weakening rand, the state and the private sector take bolder collaborative action to support the agricultural sector and small-scale farmers, but despite a rise in production levels, food pricing remains out of reach of the poorest. This draws attention to global trade arrangements and the mechanisms of food pricing between the farm gate and the supermarket shelf.  

The government’s failure to address such issues is a decisive factor in the 2029 elections and the ruling party is ousted by a party with a focus on food sovereignty.  

By 2030, there is a sense of hope in poor households across the country. They believe that their voices have been heard and that hunger has no place in their future.