The Coloniality of South Africa’s Food System

The Coloniality of South Africa’s Food System and the Contemporary Food Crisis

Brittany Kesselman

It is widely recognised that South Africa’s food system is unhealthy, unjust and unsustainable. The negative Impacts of the food system include food Insecurity, malnutrition and diet-related diseases, along with the environmental damage caused by Industrial food production, distribution and waste. These harms are unevenly distributed along lines of race, gender and class.
Drawing on historical research as well as Interviews with Indigenous knowledge holders, this talk examines how the patterns of capitalist, racial, patriarchal power put in place under colonialism continue to underpin South Africa’s food system. The processes of violence, dispossession and exploitation continue to this day, and the food system is still designed to produce profits for shareholders rather than to nourish the population. Until the coloniality of the food system is recognised and addressed through decolonisation, attempts to address the food crisis will continue to fall.

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