About 55% of South Africans (33-million souls) are marginalised, deleteriously affected by joblessness and underfed from living below the upper poverty datum line. According to Stats SA, the latest available figures (released nearly a year ago) are those for April 2019: R561 for the lower poverty datum line; R810 for the food poverty datum and R1,227 per person per month for the upper line. Food prices have increased by about 7% since the lockdown commenced, but general economic activity has unavoidably decreased.

Hunger stalks the land, according to our academics and activists, and this is worsened by the regulations for the pandemic lockdown. Ponder the length of the queues at food distribution points. Consider Prof Glenda Gray’s warning of increased malnutrition in children of the poor. And yet it is reported that food production is unaffected by the pandemic (being an essential service), surpluses exist and a third of the food produced ends up in landfills, not empty stoma...

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