High unemployment and load-shedding lead to more food insecurity in Gauteng

Issued by Bronwynn Engelbrecht MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development
29 May 2023 in Press Statements

The rising rate of unemployment in Gauteng is increasing the risk of food insecurity. During the first quarter of 2023, just over 2 million residents were unemployed, while there were more than 500 000 discouraged job seekers. In addition, the repurchase rate has also increase to 8.25% per year.

This has huge implications because unemployment results in poverty and hunger.

Food inflation has reached a record high of 13.4% which makes the affordability of food more difficult. According to a study from the University of Witwatersrand’s School of Physiology, one in five South African households does not have enough food to eat, which amounts to 20% of our population that go to bed hungry.

This situation is being made worse by load-shedding, contributing to food insecurity in the province.

Public initiatives to reduce the hunger experienced by many children and older persons should be encouraged especially during World Hunger Month.

The DA believes that food insecurity can be overcome by providing conditional direct income support for the most vulnerable in our society. Government has a responsibility to create the correct economic environment to promote public-private partnerships.

There is also a need for all government departments to provide services to our residents and meet their job creation targets. Furthermore, a solution must urgently be found to load-shedding as this will increase investor confidence.

The DA will continue to push for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to assist small-scale farmers and for Premier Panyaza Lesufi to urgently put plans in place to engage Independent Power Producers to provide electricity.