The City of Johannesburg’s Social Development Department: Food Resilience Unit celebrated World Food Day on 16 October 2023 at Northern Farm (Region A) in Diepsloot.
The event brought together a diverse group of stakeholders, farmers, small businesses, agro-processors and the local community members, creating a vibrant gathering under the theme “Water is life, water is food. Leave no one behind.” The Member of Mayor Committee for Health and Social Development in the City of Johannesburg, Cllr Ennie Makhafola, was joined by Region A Director Abigail Ndlovu to commemorate this global celebration.
In her keynote address, Cllr Makhafola highlighted the City’s awareness of the challenges faced by its citizens, particularly in early child development and old age care. She affirmed the City’s commitment to food security interventions aimed at providing access to fresh produce while minimising carbon emissions through the use of regional markets.
Cllr Makhafola encouraged attendees to plant in their backyards to combat hunger and poverty. She said the city was ready to assist in various forms to support this effort.The event served as a platform to raise awareness about food security, nutrition, and sustainable agriculture, in line with the World Food Day theme.
Attendees learned about the importance of food safety and the role they could play in ensuring access to safe and nutritious food.Matome Makgoba, the Executive Head for Social Development, emphasized that World Food Day aligns with sustainable development goals to create a world free of poverty and encourages residents to engage in self-farming to achieve this objective.
“This event serves as a powerful reminder of our commitment to addressing food insecurity, poverty, and social well-being in Johannesburg. It is an opportunity for us to show our dedication to improving the lives of the citizens and creating a more sustainable,” said Makgoba.
Over 600 attendees were also given the opportunity to participate in a raffle and then awarded a garden box to kick start their own farming journey.In extending efforts of combating hunger, the City Food Resilience Unit, SA Harvest and the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation handed out food to those in need.
The event provided equal opportunity for emerging entrepreneurs to showcase range of products and services they provide.Lungelo Mgaga, the founder of Loxionfruits, expressed his excitement for the opportunity to showcase his products. He said being part of the event was an incredible experience and a great platform to connect with other stakeholders who share similar passion for food security and sustainable agriculture.