It’s often labeled by some as the most beautiful city in South Africa, by others the best run city in South Africa, and by all it has come to be known as the Mother City. A name or title like that for a city means the city is said to be a welcoming home for all. I have been living in this city for three years now, and it never took me long to realise that Cape Town was not a city built with its impoverished residents in mind.
The gap between the wealthy or those enjoying some privilege brought on by race and the poor is unbelievably enormous. Those in power or those that run Cape town run it as though there weren’t any poor people that wonder everyday as the sun sets whether they will have a plate of food in front of them tonight or not.
Cape Town is littered with farm lands, but all this land is mostly used to farm for a luxurious need. It’s used to grow grapes for wine making.
And with Cape Town experiencing a terrible water crisis, those living in informal settlements in the poorest areas of Cape Town have one more struggle to deal with in terms of growing their own food. And the few farms that actually grow food struggle with the water crisis and it now means for them to regain what they lose in the death of their crops, they will want to regain in the increasing of food prices. More bad news for the poor.
Organic foods are the healthiest but also the most expensive. This makes junk food the escape route for the poor. Which is one of the reasons contributing in the fact that black people are twice likely to become diabetics than white people.
Capetonians really need to galvanize and create awareness of the issue of lack of food in this city. We as the people working in the media can play a huge role in putting to account those who govern the city. The pushing and promotion of the ideas and campaigns of eating healthy should not just be filled with empty encouragement but with money put in so the poor can afford to eat healthy as the wealthy can. It would also be refreshing for the city to invest in land that would be used for crops and food. There is too much land used for winelands and the beautification of the city, maybe the could be put to much-needed better use. The city could host meetings with community leaders and conduct talks in which we collaboratively encourage community members to harvest their own vegetables and other plant-based foods, open a chain of soup-kitchens and educate whilst feeding the impoverished about the food which they eat.
There are many things the city could to make the name “Mother City” more than just a nickname. And its not that they are in a position where they cannot, they are well-place to. But I really hope for the sake of the poor in Cape Town, they do something.