African Social Science Review


This study is an attempt to determine COVID-19's impact on household food safety. The study adopted a case study approach, and Sheshegu location was chosen as the research area for the Amathole District of the South African Eastern Cape Province. Data collection was done in multiple households with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire, as well as collecting information from secondary sources. The study focused on the notion of food security as a theoretical basis for the analysis, which was primarily a cross-case analysis. This study does not address the analysis of individual cases; however, individual cases are provided as examples and as backup for the synthesis. In addition, the food safety analysis focused only on the availability of calories and not on nutritional quality. The findings of this study show the need for household empowerment in a more sustainable way through income-generating skills training and small-scale home gardening practice. It was also revealed the need for nutrition education, so that conventional and healthy choices can be included in the patterns of household food consumption and not only seen as an alternative when preferred foods such as meat are not present. The research further showed that COVID-19’s effect correlated with the position in which the household was prior to the onset of the disease or subsequent death. Coping methods often differed, depending on the position of the household and the amount of contribution that the sick family member made to the food budget. During the time of care for the sick family member, inter-household effects and gender differentials were noted. During times of food shortages interhousehold effects were also observed. There was also a high degree of dependence on government safety nets among these households, which contributed to some extent to the lack of diversification of livelihoods.



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