The Right of Children to Food Campaign

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“South Africa’s child food and nutrition insecurity is linked to the grotesque inequalities that characterises the country and which must be addressed with urgency.

They reflect a slow, hidden and cumulative violence against South Africa’s children that is in conflict with the country’s Bill of Rights and Constitution and is a violation of their Rights.” Child Gauge 2020 page 24, Publication of the Children’s Institute of the University of Cape Town’s Medical School.

The Children’s Resource Centre (CRC) hereby invites all organisations of the people to come together to form a broad-based social movement to launch a long-term Programme of Action to save our children from what the Child Gauge “The slow violence of malnutrition” (Child Gauge).

We are proposing that such a movement starts by taking the South African Government to the Constitutional Court for violation of the rights of children to food and to life.

Why a campaign of this nature has become necessary
The situation of children in South Africa has reached unacceptable levels of suffering, violence and abuse that violates their Constitutional rights.

“Fourteen babies and toddlers have starved to death in the Nelson Mandela Bay 15 months.” Press Report: Daily Maverick 29 March 2022.

The Child Gauge 2020 found that approximately 4 million children in South Africa are stunted and another 10 million go hungry daily.

The CRC believes that this situation needs a united community response.

The purpose of this invitation
Organisations are invited to participate in this campaign to help set up an Interim Committee to work towards an official, public launching of the campaign; and elect a coordinating structure to drive it.

The campaign and the organisation that emerges from it, could also begin a process of developing medium to long-term strategies to lay the basis for a Peoples Driven Food Production and Distribution Structure and System to ensure children and communities have a regular source of food through the setting up of Food Co-operatives, a coordinated network of kitchens and feeding Schemes which already exist in some communities; and strengthen relationship with local/township food distributors; Stokvels, etc.

Strengthen the struggles for food sovereignty, a Universal Basic Income Grant (UBIG), and the many struggles for better SA.

After almost 30 years of the new SA, its children are still dying of hunger The high level of poverty and hunger.

Impact of increasing food prices made worse by profit-driven food production private sector abusing the Covid 19 Pandemic.

The manner in which the Food Industry adds to the health problems children and the broader community suffer.

The General Failure of the Health System; the absence of water in many parts of the country especially in the rural areas, etc.

The high levels of alcohol abuse and addition, male dominance throughout society, etc., making the home one of the most dangerous places for children and women.

Immediate as well as sustainable, long-term interventions to eliminate hunger in children is a Constitutional mandate imposed on the State that is not being fulfilled.

The CRC believes that a united Right to Food Campaign has become essential.

Who should become involved?
Trade Unions, Social Movements, Faith-based organisations, NGO’s, Unemployed People’s Movements, Assembly of the Excluded, Rural Women’s Assembly, Water Coalition, Solidarity Support Groups, Academics and public Intellectuals of the Broad Left, Network of Community Kitchens and Feeding Schemes, Water Alliance/Coalition, Cultural activists, sports bodies, Stokvels and the thousands of Community-based organisations (CBO’s) who number ten times more than NGO’s. In other words, just about everybody.

Where do need to build
Nationally, in both urban and Rural areas, in all sectors and at all levels.

Can invited organisations, social movements, NGO’s, etc., kindly indicate their willingness/preparedness to participate and elect representatives to serve on a coordinating committee.

General Remarks:
Renewal of Society needs to begin at all levels.

We cannot continue to be the passive victims of violence of poverty, GBV, etc.

Communities have agency and are already, the especially the women, struggling to make the change the way they see and understand it.

When do we start?
Once an Interim Committee has been put in place, a timeframe can be decided upon and circulated for broader discussion.

The slogan of the CM and the CRC is: For children the Future is NOW.

The cliché that says Children are the future is meaningless: They cannot have a future unless they have a NOW.

Marcus Solomon
On behalf of the CRC
3 April 2022

This press statement was released by Children’s Resource Centre (CRC) on 3 April 2022.

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