An analysis of municipal regulation and management of markets as an instrument to facilitate access to food and enhance food security
This paper seeks to answer the following question: how can municipalities manage and regulate markets in a manner that facilitates access to food and contributes to the enhancement of food security? In attempting to answer this question, the paper will also address the following questions: what does the term 'food security' mean? What does 'access to food' mean? What does the 'right to food' mean? What are the powers and functions of local government? What are the limits, problems or risks attached to the exercise of these powers? What constitutes 'markets' or 'fresh produce markets' in this case? What is the scope of local government's legislative and executive competence regarding food 'markets', as enumerated in Part B of Schedule 5 of the Constitution? And, how can municipalities utilise food markets as a means to facilitate access to food and address the issue of food security? This paper will focus primarily on fresh produce markets, as opposed to other markets or 'markets' in their entirety. This limitation is based on the argument that fresh produce markets are more relevant for the role of local government in facilitating access to food because they provide a platform for the sale and purchase of fresh produce, which is important for nutritional purposes. The argument presented in this thesis centres around the facilitation of access to food, by local government, through the regulation and management of markets. The paper will address the problem by examining the concepts of 'food security' and 'access to food' in the South African context, as well as in the international context. In examining the above concepts, the paper will also include the right to food. The paper will further look at how South Africa has responded to the issue of food security through its national food security policies. The paper will look at how local food markets are utilised internationally to facilitate access to food and thereafter, examine how food markets should be utilised to facilitate access to food in South Africa. Thereafter, an examination of the powers and functions of local government as entrenched in the Constitution will be provided, as well as the implications of such powers, the limitations and the problems attached to the exercise of local government powers. Lastly, the paper looks at local government's competence regarding food 'markets' in Schedule 5B of the Constitution, as well as the other competencies related to food/food security. Although local government has the scope to address the issue of food security by exercising its legislative and executive authority over the competence ‘markets’ as per Schedule 5B of the Constitution, this study does not focus solely on the management and regulation of 'markets'. The study extends and includes related competencies such as trade regulations, the licensing and control of undertakings that sell food to the public, municipal abattoirs, street trading and municipal health service, and shows how the links between these competencies provide local government with the opportunity to contribute to the enhancement of food security.