Victory for Cape Town’s crucial
Philippi Horticultural Area

March 5, 2017 | By More

An application to rezone prime agricultural land in the Philippi Horticultural Area (PHA) was dismissed on February 24.

Heritage Western Cape dismissed a second appeal by developer UVEST Property Group, appearing as Exclusive Access Trading 570, who applied to rezone 96 hectares of land on the PHA.


The PHA is 3000ha of farmland in the heart of the Cape Flats, and opponents of the developments say they will threaten the livelihoods of emerging farmers and their workers and local food security, and seriously jeopardise a 630km² aquifer.

The tribunal found that: “In weighing up the socio- economic benefits of a future development against protection of the PHA as a heritage resource, it is clear at the visit on site, and from information gathered, that it is not in the interest of the people of Cape Town to develop the PHA…”

• Read the full story here:

• See our 2014 Food System and Food Security Study for the City of Cape Town, commissioned by the City of Cape Town and conducted by AFSUN and other researchers.

The report was prepared by Jane Battersby, Gareth Haysom, Godfrey Tawodzera, Milla McLachlan and Jonathan Crush; with Tani Lombard, Irene Labuschange, Verena Bitzer, Nick Simpson, Jessica Rattle, Sarah Duncan, Maya Marshak, Jackie James and Florian Kroll.

Among its important findings are:

  • Food security at the household scale is affected by conditions in the wider food system.
  • Cape Town cannot be considered to be food secure…The December 2013 household survey conducted by AFSUN in 2 500 households across the city found food insecurity levels of 58%. These levels are significantly higher in low-income areas.
  • The food system in South Africa is undergoing a rapid transition in terms of production, import/export balance and retailing and is increasingly consolidated. For example, although there are 5 000 wheat farmers nationally, just four millers control 87% of the market. The ten largest packaged food companies account for 52% of total packaged food sales. The number of Shoprite stores in Cape Town increased from 38 in 1994 to 82 in 2012. This system is prone to high inflation, which has particularly negative impacts on poor consumers.
  • Productive areas in and around Cape Town produce over a quarter of the tonnage of the vegetables and potatoes required by the City. These areas play an important role in moderating prices of staple vegetables for the urban poor, and contribute more broadly to food system robustness. However, the long-term viability of these areas is challenged and current measures to protect them are insufficient.
  • There is significant food processing within Cape Town with over 600 food processors licensed to sell to retailers. There are also around 10 000 retailers and restaurants licensed to sell food. This is a potential growth area, which may increase employment and have food system and food security benefits.
  • Households employ a range of strategies to ensure food security, and identify social grants as particularly important. However, these strategies are not sufficient. This suggests a need for systemic, rather than only household scale responses.
  • The food system delivers food but it does not ensure its equitable distribution or consumption. This is where the City can and should play a role in the system. To be fully effective such intervention should be coordinated and coherent. The scale of the challenge means that the response can no longer be ad hoc and piecemeal projects. Key to successful food system interventions is a strategic overarching food strategy that considers the relationship between the city, its residents and the food system.

• See also an article in Urban Agriculture magazine on this report here:

Category: Food Security News

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