IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Urban food insecurity in Cape Town, South Africa: An alternative approach to food access


  • Jane Battersby


This paper presents data from the African Food Security Urban Network's 2008 baseline survey of Cape Town. This survey found that 80% of the sampled households could be classified as moderately or severely food insecure. In urban areas the main driver of food insecurity is not availability but access. Access is typically viewed as being directly related to income. Households were found to use formal food markets, but more frequently depended on informal sector markets and informal social safety nets. The more food insecure and income poor a household was, the more likely it was to be dependent on less formal means of securing food. This suggests that there is some form of market failure in the formal food system. This paper therefore advocates for a food systems approach that validates and supports the role that the informal sector plays in urban food security.

Suggested Citation

  • Jane Battersby, 2011. "Urban food insecurity in Cape Town, South Africa: An alternative approach to food access," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(4), pages 545-561, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:28:y:2011:i:4:p:545-561
    DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2011.605572

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Tobin & Mark Brennan & Rama Radhakrishna, 2016. "Food access and pro-poor value chains: a community case study in the central highlands of Peru," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 33(4), pages 895-909, December.
    2. Diana Lee-Smith, 2013. "Which way for UPA in Africa?," City, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 69-84, February.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:28:y:2011:i:4:p:545-561. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.