GALLERY: Wasting while violent: The unexpected result of looting food

Eyewitness News found food strewn across the streets and in various shopping centres that were affected by the violent looting and riots across parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal in the last week.

Violent looting and riots marked parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal in the last week and left many worried about food security.

Some analysts said part of the problem that led to this point was that many South Africans were not coping financially.

According to a 2019 Stats SA report, over 49% of the country’s adult population live on less than R1,300 per month.

South Africa’s food is transported to different parts of the country predominantly by road.

Trucks were burnt and routes were blocked, affecting supply chains that threatened food accessibility in some usually plentiful areas.

Panicking people also cleaned out food at shops, which Agricultural Minister Thoko Didiza said would create “artificial shortages”.

At the same time, Eyewitness News found food strewn across the streets and in various shopping centres that were affected by rampant theft.

According to the United Nations’ Human Development Report, one in five South Africans live in extreme poverty.

The unemployment rate sits at 32.6% for the last quarter, meaning many people struggle with access to food. The wastage over the last week’s riots underscored this problem.

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