The Oranjezicht City Farm conceived of and produced a 10-part series on the food system in Cape Town called the Food Dialogues. This series was a platform for sharing ideas about creating a healthier, more conscious and just food system in the Mother City.
Food Dialogues sessions brought together a wide range of speakers involved in shaping the food system, providing an opportunity for food growers, academics, activists, writers, nutritionists, food lovers and anyone interested in a sustainable approach to engage in key issues intimately connected to the food we eat and the future of food in Cape Town.
The proceedings were recorded (see below) and edited into the Food Dialogues Report by award-winning South African science writer, Leonie Joubert, author of The Hungry Season: Feeding Southern Africa’s Cities. The Report draws out the narratives, extracts the themes expressed by the various speakers, and unpacks opportunities and ideas that emerged as trends through the discussions. The report was workshopped with the Food Dialogues presenters, through a Cape Town Partnership Green Clusters event, and is published by the Oranjezicht City Farm, with support from the Cape Town Partnership.
Launched on World Food Day 2014, the Food Dialogues Report is packed with local insight and recommendations for action, and is essential reading for anyone who cares about food, nutrition, public health, food security, urban planning, environmental issues and the state of our Mother City.
We encourage you to download a copy, forward this information to your friends and networks, and continue the important dialogue about the future of food and farming in Cape Town at Facebook.com/OZCFarm, and on Twitter using the #ctfoodreport hashtag tagging @OZCFarm and @ctpartnership.
Video and audio from some previous sessions is now online in the sections below.
Please note: The Food Dialogues series is complete. The information on the sessions below is for archival purposes only.
Leonie Joubert is a science writer whose books include The Hungry Season: Feeding Southern Africa’s Cities, Scorched, Boiling Point and Invaded. Leonie also contributed to Max du Preez’s Opinion Pieces by South African Thought Leaders.
She was the 2007 Ruth First Fellow, was listed in the Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans You Must Take To Lunch (2008), and was na¬med the 2009 SAB Environmental Journalist of the Year (print/internet category). Leonie has received two Honorary Sunday Times Alan Paton Non-Fiction Awards (in 2007 and 2010 for Scorched and Invaded). See www.leoniejoubert.co.za.
Gareth Haysom is an urban food specialist and researcher at the African Food Security Urban Network based at the African Centre for Cities, UCT. Gareth’s research focus is on urban food governance, sustainability, and sustainable agriculture and food systems. Gareth is also a research fellow at the Sustainability Institute where he facilitates a programme on regional food systems.
Nazeer Sonday is a businessman, farmer and activist. In 2008 Nazeer who owned a farm stall in Philippi for 14 years got a grant from the Department of Agriculture and set up a greenhouse of 3 000 tomato plants. In the process he experienced many difficulties faced by farmers in the Philippi Horticultural Area (PHA). He decided it was necessary to address issues impacting on farming, fight for decent services and build a united vision for the PHA.
Pat Featherstone was born in Zimbabwe and has lived in Cape Town since 1973. After studying Biochemistry and Zoology she did her postgraduate certificate in Education and went on to teach for 28 years at secondary institutions and at UCT. She then got involved in the non-profit sector and 11 years ago became one of two founding directors of Soil for Life.
Soil for Life is a Cape Town based non-profit organization, which teaches people how to build the soil and grow healthy plants. They strive to help people reconnect with the earth and to realize their potential for healthy, productive and fulfilling lives. http://soilforlife.co.za
Robert Small is the founding member of the Food and Garden National Trust as well as former director and current Co-Manager of Abalimi Bhezekhaya. Abalimi Bhezekhaya is an organisation based in the Cape Flats working on combating poverty by growing food sustainably using organic methods as well as planting water wise indigenous trees to transform the Cape Flats into a sustainable environment. http://abalimi.org.za
Mzukisi Zele was born in the Eastern Cape and came to Cape Town 10 years ago. His garden back at home inspired him to continue to learn more about plants, the environment and food. He got involved with SEED and learnt about permaculture there.With a group of friends he started some food gardening projects in the Cape Flats. He then heard about Erf 81 at the top of Military Road in Tamboerskloof and decided to move there with some friends and start a gardening project. Mzu and 6 other core members started Tyisa Nabanye towards the end of 2013 and it is now growing rapidly.
Dr Thokozani Kanyerere is a Senior Lecturer in Hydrology at the University of the Western Cape in the Faculty of Natural Sciences. Alongside Professor Yongxin Xu he has carried out extensive research on the Cape Flats Aquifer and will speak on the importance of preserving the integrity of this underground water system for the future of food in Cape Town.
Saul Roux holds a Bachelor of Law (LLB) and a Masters in Environmental Studies (M.Env). He is a researcher in the Mistra Urban Futures (MUF) Knowledge Transfer¬ Programme (KTP). The Knowledge Transfer Programme is a partnership between the City of Cape Town and the African Centre for Cities, UCT, with the aim of bringing knowledge to bear on urban sustainability policy and practice. As part of this programme, he is ‘embedded’ in the Energy and Climate Change Unit (City of Cape Town) where he works on sustainable energy policy and governance issues. He is currently conducting research for a Ph.D. looking at sustainable energy transitions in cities of the global South and will be speaking on food and climate change.
Matthew Koehorst is an enthusiastic systems thinker, planet lover and environmental professional with experience in environmental education and renewable energy technologies. He is currently planting LOTS of trees as the Head of Department for Planting and Sustainability at Greenpop and nurtures a lasting fascination with the strange way humans engage with our planet.
She explains that the city is in many ways like the human body: it needs a healthy diet and digestive system. Green Clusters is about helping Cape Town arrive at better answers to questions like “What do we eat, and where is it from?” An emerging platform for collaborative dialogue around urban agriculture in Cape Town, Green Clusters looks specifically at how processes, systems and opportunities can be designed to create opportunities for healthy eating – and a healthy source of income – in Cape Town.
John Parker is a psychiatrist at Lentegeur Hospital in Mitchell’s Plain and Co-ordinator of the Lentegeur Spring Project. Lentegeur translated means “the essence of spring” and this project aims to bring this meaning to life. The project uses food gardening to support the rehabilitation of patients at the hospital and uplift surrounding communities. John is passionate about the connection between human beings and the wilderness and uses his training in neuroscience and psychiatry to reconnect people through greening.
Zayaan Khan became fascinated by the elements that build ecosystems. Through curiosity, research, experimentation and engagement, the idea of an indigenous food revival within the urban context began to grow. She is a horticulturist and currently employed as a researcher for Surplus People Project. Through her work with Slow Food International, Zayaan has been able to find ways to create a network and a community to practice her important work.
Loubie Rusch has been working as a landscape designer for the past 30 years, encouraging her clients to garden with indigenous plants. She is currently exploring cooking with indigenous foods, most of which she has to forage for. She is the founder of Making KOS, and bottles fine indigenous foods under the label KOS. She is actively pursuing ways to achieve more widespread availability and use of indigenous edible plants.
Leigh Brown studied Permaculture in Australia in 1996 and has been pioneering the work of growing outdoor classrooms in the South African schools environment ever since. She is now involved with SEED, working on a model that sees schools as community resources for Sustainability Education, Youth Education for the Green Economy, Integrated Community Enterprise and a Food Freedom movement that builds resilience, social cohesion and transforms whole neighbourhoods.
He has several farmers growing for him and a employs 22 people. A self taught farmer, learning from trial and error, Skye believes where there is a will there is a way.
He is a electrician, plumber, builder, business man and a hands-on farmer.
Jenny Louw is a gardener, landscape designer, nature lover and explorer of holistic health. She writes and talks on natural principles and encourages others to create garden paradises on their own land. After completing a degree in Horticulture, Jenny worked as a landscape architect. She has spent the past 15 years developing a city garden paradise and now talks, consults, designs and writes on her life- long love affair with nature. http://www.earthartist.co.za
Beatrice Rabkin worked as a pharmacist mainly in state hospitals in the Western Cape. Here vast quantity of drugs being used for chronically ill patients led to serious disillusion with the pharmaceutical drug approach to medicine approach.
Beatrice chose to study Nutritional Medicine. She believes that all other therapies will falter if healthy eating and lifestyle is not part of the plan. She is in private practice and specialises in neuro-degenerative and mood disorders..
Beatrice has also worked as a chef in both the USA and South Africa. She still loves to cook and feed. Along with her daughter and a colleague she runs a series of cooking demonstrations to help people make the fundamental changes needed to making healthy eating choices.
Sunette van Zyl’s health journey started while she lived in Dublin, Ireland and was searching for solutions to her own skin and acne problems. Going back to her South African roots she used Rooibos skin products and nutritional supplements with amazing results.
Sunette qualified as Nutritional Therapist in 2009 from the College of Naturopathic Medicine. She started a part time Nutrition practice, lectured at the College and worked a full time corporate job. The workload at one stage caused burnout and this personal experience, coupled with what she was seeing in her practice led to her special interest in chronic fatigue, burn out and stress.
Kate Hamilton is the Fund Development Manager for FoodBank South Africa. She has been working in the NGO sector for four years and her background is in HIV education and testing and food security in South Africa. Kate is inspired by people who live outside of the imaginary boundaries that society lives within.
Melanie Jones qualified as a Veterinary Surgeon in 1998 and worked in small and large veterinary practice in the UK and South Africa. In 2008 Melanie developed an interest in recycling organic waste after visiting organic waste processing facilities overseas.
She returned to South Arica to established Zero to Landfill Organics in Cape Town. Zero waste to landfill composts organic waste in particular food waste from hotels and businesses. To date Zero Waste to Landfill has diverted 1 000 tons of organic waste from Cape Town’s over capacitated landfills.
Melanie has worked as a consultant for the Department of Environmental Affairs developing a business plan for food waste composting. She has also established Waste to Wealth Africa – a charitable trust focused on recycling initiatives in schools and under privileged communities.
Tony was born in Johannesburg. He studied Law, Sociology and Business administration at the university of Witwatersrand. Between 1995 and 1998 he worked for the Department of Land Affairs in the Land Reform Program, researching and reviewing land restitution claims submitted by victims of the apartheid government’s forced removals policies. In 1998 he joined his family business specialising in storage equipment and became managing director in 2007.
Tony is a keen naturalist and works part-time as a trustee for the Humane Education Trust, a not-for-profit initiative committed primarily to improving welfare standards for farmed and other domesticated animals, and the protection of wild animals and their habitats. The trust focuses on educating the youth and advocating government and industry for change in the fields of farm animal welfare standards, performing and working animal legislation, biodiversity and habitat loss, wildlife conflict mitigation and the use of animals in zoos, aquaria and research. The Humane Education Trust is the African affiliate of Compassion in World Farming. (humane-education.org.za and animal-voice.org )
He lives in Cape Town with his wife Lorraine and four rescued animals.