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Supporting inclusive & sustainable food systems

We support inclusive and sustainable food systems in the rebuilding economies of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng Provinces through the FoodforRebuilding project.

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Years active:

2022 - present

Related ICLEI Pathway(s)


Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Project summary

FoodForRebuilding aims to provide insight on the recent crises affecting the South African food system and their impacts, with a major focus on the civil unrest and disruptions that took place in July 2021 in the Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces. The project will provide in depth understanding of the roles and challenges experienced by vulnerable groups and how the disruptions may or may not have exacerbated existing food system challenges. 

The need to improve the resilience and inclusivity of South African cities and regions’ food systems is now more pressing than ever in the face of multiple shocks and stresses that undermine the resilience and sustainability of these food systems. The Covid-19 Pandemic and lockdown restrictions reinforced the vulnerability of these food systems to shocks and stresses and impacted the availability and access to food, as well as food-related livelihoods across the food value chain.  Moreover, the recent floods that have ravaged the  KwaZulu-Natal have damaged infrastructure and destroyed crop yields thus impacting food security further. Additionally, political instability, both local and international, such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict as well as the civil unrest in KwaZulu Natal (KZN) and Gauteng provinces that occurred in July 2021, laid bare the vulnerabilities and inequalities of the food system. Therefore, it has become critical that efforts towards  rebuilding and recovery of the South African food systems (particularly KZN and Gauteng food systems) are prioritised.  This relies on a systemic, collaborative approach between all relevant stakeholders. 

Building more inclusive and sustainable food systems has the catalytic potential to offer several economic and development benefits to all people, especially the poor and disadvantaged. With the notion of transforming towards more inclusive and sustainable food systems, it is possible to maximise related food system outcomes such as health and wellbeing, environmental sustainability and profitability of businesses and farmers along the value chain. It would also allow us to identify trade-offs and co-benefits across sectors in the food value chain as well as identify the leverage points in the systems for widest reaching benefits.

Project aims

  • Provide strategy/recommendations for inclusive and sustainable food systems in rebuilding the economies of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal Provinces and  a 5 year implementation plan.
  • Build capacities of stakeholders directly involved in the Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal food systems on inclusive and sustainable food systems in rebuilding economies of the provinces through workshops and dialoguing.

Project partners

Supporting inclusive & sustainable food systems