CapeTalk’s Refilwe Moloto interviewed Tracy Ledger on 29 March 2022 about the ingrained injustices and monopolies in our food system.
‘These inequities are ingrained in our food system, according to Dr Tracy Ledger, Senior Researcher at the Public Affairs Research Institute and author of An Empty Plate.
The Marketing of Agricultural Products Act (1996) aimed to deregulate the post-apartheid food industry but removed the government’s power to intervene in agricultural markets to improve food security and nutrition – despite Section 27 of the Constitution which gives every child the right to basic nutrition.
Ledger argues that the share of the retail price that ends up in farmers’ pockets is very little and must be looked at.
According to the World Bank, South Africans pay between 20% and 40% more for some food commodities due to cartels.
Recent studies show that 80% of families cannot afford to buy “adequately nutritious food”.’