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South Africa: Policy Highlights and Opportunities

Each year, approximately 10 million tons of food is either lost or wasted along the supply chain in South Africa. At the same time, an estimated 20% of the population was food insecure prior to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Atlas Research: South Africa

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Legal Guide

Learn more about the legal frameworks relevant to food donation and how South Africa's existing laws and policies support or hinder the country's progress.

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Policy Recommendations

Dive into recommendations for policymakers based on the gaps and opportunities identified in the legal guides.


Executive Summary

Read highlights of the research findings and our high-level recommendations.

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Explore our survey findings on business perceptions on food safety and liability protection for food donations in South Africa.


Policy Highlights

South Africa research was published in April 2021 and was made possible with the advice and support of our on-site partners, including FoodForward South Africa.
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Tax Incentives and Barriers

To encourage food donors and food recovery organizations to donate food, South Africa should exempt free food donations from the activities for which the Value Added Tax must be reimbursed. 

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The South African government should also provide an enhanced benefit for food donation or tiered tax benefits consistent with the food utilization hierarchy in the South Africa Food Loss and Waste Voluntary Agreement.

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Policy Opportunities and Recommendations

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Date Labeling

The South Africa government should amend the Regulations Relating to the Labelling and Advertising of Foodstuffs to provide for a quality-based and safety-based label only, 

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consistent with a dual-date labeling scheme elaborated in the Codex Alimentarius. South Africa should also permit the donation of food after the quality-based date.

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Food Safety for Donations

South Africa’s Foodstuffs, Cosmetics, and Disinfectants Act of 1972 and accompanying regulations sets forth food safety requirements, but they are broad in scope and presumably apply to food donations.

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Food donors and intermediaries may face challenges determining which food safety standards apply to donated food.

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Liability Protection for Food Donations

South Africa does not offer comprehensive liability protection for food donors and food recovery organizations. South Africa’s Consumer Protection Act covers any claims of harm arising from food or other 

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goods and also enumerates several defenses that may help shield food donors from liability, yet food donors and recovery organizations may be wary.

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Mapping food donation policies around the world

The Atlas map compares food donation laws and policies in different countries and evaluates legislation across several issue areas. Use the map to see where your country stands and learn from best practices around the world.

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About Us

Learn about the project and the partners behind this flagship research.


Read our detailed project methodology rooted in inclusion, accuracy, and transparency.

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