A paradigm shift in the international food security debate was encouraged during 2009, namely to base food security initiatives on the right to sufficient food. During a 2011 visit to South Africa, the Special Rapporteur for the Right to Food of the United Nations accordingly confirmed that a human rights-based approach to food security is necessary in the South African legal and policy framework in order to address the huge disparities in terms of food security (especially concerning geography, gender and race) (See United Nations in South Africa 2011 Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food End of Mission Statement http://bit.ly/n0Wpqh). Taken this into account the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (Germany) and the Faculty of Law, North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus) embarked on a 3-year project on Critical Law and Governance Perspectives on Food Security in South Africa: Exploring the Role of Policy-Makers and other Stakeholders.

The KAS/NWU Risks posed to protecting the right to food and food security conference held at Hakunamatata Estate, Muldersdrift on 24-25 October 2013 was the first of 3 conferences in the abovementioned project. The objective of the conference was to identify the risks posed to protecting the right to food and food security in a South African context (while keeping the inevitable influence of risks in a regional and international context in mind). The multidisciplinary nature of the right to have access to sufficient food and food security was addressed by the conference speakers. It was a great privilege to listen to the presentations of highly esteemed speakers, including Adv L Mushwana (Chairperson of the South African Human Rights Commission) and Prof H van Schalkwyk (Rector of the NWU (Potchefstroom Campus) and acclaimed agricultural economist). The speaker were representative of inter alia the academia, the agricultural sector (including a small holder farmer and agricultural institutions), the private sector and civil society. PROGRAMME The presentations led to lively debates between the conference delegates. The conference delegates were representative of inter alia: (a) the academia (including researchers, lecturers as well as pre- and post-graduate students); (b) the agricultural sector (including agricultural institutions); (c) the South African Human Rights Commission; (d) local government; (e) the Department of Health; (f) NGOs (including Section 27, Green Peace SA and SACONO); (g) civil society; and (h) the media (including a Senior Researcher: News Research and Policy Analysis from the SABC News).

The conference succeeded in making people aware of the fact that issues pertaining to food insecurity, and specifically hunger, are not one dimensional but necessitate actions across the spectrum of inter alia agriculture, economics, health, education and the law.

Contact details:

Conference 1: 2013

Conference 2: 2014

Conference 3: 2015

Dr Anél Gildenhuys

Faculty of Law, NWU

Tel: (+27)18 299 1036


Dr Wian Erlank

Faculty of Law, NWU

Tel: (+27)18 299 1932


Dr Henk Kloppers

Faculty of Law, NWU

Tel: (+27)18 299 1928



The presentations of the KAS/NWU Risks posed the protecting the right to food and food security

Claasen, Nicole Dr

De Beer, Hanli Dr

Karumbidza, Blessing Dr

Khoza, Sibonile Mr

Lim Tung, Odile Dr

Murphree, Michael Mr

Van Zyl, Kosie Mr

Van Schalkwyk, Herman Prof

Van Zyl, Chris Mr