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23 July 2019
UWC centres to present Human Rights Commission with petition on high levels of food insecurity among South Africa’s students

(Published - 23 July 2019)

Cape Town: The Dullah Omar Institute (DOI) at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), in collaboration with the UWC-based Centre of Excellence in Food Security, will on 25 July 2019 present a petition to two commissioners of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to draw attention to the high levels of hunger and food insecurity among South Africa’s students.

The handover will form part of the Cape Town advocacy meeting of the Access to Food for Students Project within the DOI. Professor Ebenezer Durojaye of the DOI will present the petition to two Commissioners of the SAHRC – Commissioner André Gaum (responsible for education in the Commission) and Commissioner Jonas Sibanyoni (responsible for food security), as the Institute seeks recognition of student hunger as a human rights concern.

The Advocacy Meeting is the latest in a series of meetings organised by the DoI in response to the growing food insecurity experienced by students at tertiary institutions nationwide. Research suggests that 30% of studentsat university – and as high as 65%at some institutions – are experiencing some level of hunger and food insecurity. The Advocacy Meeting seeks to mobilise a coalition of stakeholders in preparation for the implementation phase of the Access to Food for Students Project.

“There is a common misconception that students represent the elite and as such should be food secure,” observed Ms Funmilola Adeniyi, a doctoral researcher with the Socio-economic Rights Project. “The reality, however, is that students are more likely to be food insecure than other population groups.”