I would like to sincerely acknowledge the assistance of all individuals and organisations who contributed to making this research project successful. In particular I thank Ruth Brown of the London South Bank University in the United Kingdom, a language expert who edited this research project. My special and sincere gratitude go to my promoter from the University of Johannesburg, Professor Hugo van Rooyen, for his guidance and supervision throughout this research project.
Professor van Rooyen was more a friend than supervisor during the research project, and he is heartily thanked for his very positive approach and encouragement which kept me going at all times. I am indebted, too, to both Professor Elizabeth Henning and Doctor Gillian Godsell for their guidance, enthusiasm and motivation in the course of the research task. I also want to thank Nicolas Lotz who assisted me with literature research and Dr MN Nkoe for his assistance in conducting focus group and individual interviews in Northern Sotho.
His professional manner in assisting with this research project is appreciated.
Dr Nkoe sacrificed his time from his busy schedule and afforded me the opportunity to interview street vendors in Polokwane, many kilometres away from Gauteng. My sincere thanks also go to Mr. J Pieterse, a curriculum specialist who advised me on the framework of a training programme. The provincial health department of Limpopo is thanked for offering me the opportunity to conduct research in its area of jurisdiction. The Department of Environmental Services of the city of Polokwane, as well as the street vendors themselves, were available to me at all times and this has contributed immensely to the success of the project.
The research could not have been a reality without financial inputs. I thank the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the former Technikon Northern Gauteng management for funding the project. This research would not have ii been successful had it not been for such generous contributions from these organisations. I sincerely thank my foster parents, Erna and Franz Werbitzky, my sister Elke and her family, my brother Jurgen and his family, and Ute in Germany for the support you gave me from 1974 to date. I owe this achievement to all of you. May God bless you.
I sincerely thank my wife, Munyadziwa Agnes, for her moral support and understanding during the many nights and weekends I have spent both with her and away from her during the pursuit of this thesis. My son, Bruce, was always there when the technology went wrong, and my daughter, Sharon, willingly undertook the initial typing of this thesis. My sons, Chris and Leon, were always there for me. I thank each of you for your patience when I have kept you until late at night while typing this project, and for all the sacrifices you have made for me during this time.
Finally, all those who directly and indirectly contributed to the success of this research project are heartily thanked. Many kilometres stretch between the inception of this project and its completion. God the Almighty, my creator, I thank You for my health and Your protection along the way. iii DEDICATION This research is dedicated to my late mother Mabjalwa Mukwena-Mukhola who passed away when I was only twenty-six years old and could not experience my achievements; my family in Germany, Erna and Franz Werbitzky, for supporting me throughout my studies, and also for taking over the role of parents when my mom passed away;
my mother’s siblings for your unselfish support; to my wife and children, for loving me and supporting me throughout. iv ABSTRACT The scientific study of food has emerged as a discipline in its own right since the end of the 1939-1945 war. The need for the development of a training programme for street food vendors reflects an increasing awareness of the fact that the eating quality of food commodities is determined by a logical sequence of events that starts at the production of the food or the germination of the seed, and culminates in its consumption.
From this point of view the street food handler is inevitably involved in certain aspects of nutrition, environmental health and psychology. Apart from the problems of handling and preparation of food, it seems likely that the food handler will become increasingly concerned with enhancing the biological value of traditional food. Further, there is the potential for evolving entirely new ways of preparation and handling as a result of the pressure of increasing population diversity and demand. This is likely to produce a need for the additional training of food handlers and health professionals.
Street food is one of the major commodities with which Environmental Health Officers are concerned, and is subject of the present inquiry in Polokwane. This sector is a growing enterprise in Africa today: its expansion is linked to urbanisation, unemployment and lack of economic growth. Despite this, the role of street food in supplying ready-to-eat food has received little official attention; more notice has been paid to the potential dangers arising from the consumption of street food than to any benefits it might offer. This has resulted in the marginalisation of the sector’s activities.
Much of the bias against street food is, however, unfounded and is based more on prejudice than empirical data. Official data on street food and its consumption in South Africa are largely lacking and few studies have been conducted in this regard. These few studies have shown that the street food industry is a large and complex sector, which provides a means of livelihood principally for unemployed woman and an affordable source of food to many thousands of people. The potential of street vendors to improve the food security in both urban and rural v
populations remains almost totally unexplored. Where the formal sector fails to provide opportunities for employment, people often resort to informal trading to make a living. This research has confirmed that street food is inexpensive, and immediately available to consumers. In Polokwane the sector produces an integral part of the diet that is regularly consumed by all income groups, but particularly by commuters, workers and school children. Street food is extremely diverse in terms of what is available: it includes drinks, fruit and vegetables, meals and snacks.
The ways in which street food is processed vary widely and include the preparation of food on the city street in relatively heterogeneous and unregulated conditions. The potential drawbacks of street food include its safety requirements; the lack of training of street vendors; quality control of the preparation and microbiological safety; consumption requirements; and the enormous variability of street food in terms of ingredients used by different vendors and the way in which it is prepared.