Dr Jane Battersby


             Phone: 021 6505749

            Email: jane.battersby@uct.ac.za


Jane Battersby is a human geographer with an interest in all thing’s food related. She has been at UCT in various capacities since joining as a postdoctoral research fellow in 2003. She has a DPhil from Oxford, an MA from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and a BSc (Hons) from Kings College, London.

Her current areas of particular interest are urban food systems, urban food policies and the construction of food security theory in Northern and Southern research contexts. A key area of focus is the ways in which the food system and the urban system interact to shape nutritional outcomes, with a particular focus on the dual burden of malnutrition. Her work has both theoretical and applied components. To this end, she’s worked with a number of NGOs and civil society groups, served as a member of the Independent Expert Group of the Global Nutrition Report, done consultancy and advisory work with a number of UN Agencies and works closely with local and provincial governments on food policy issues.

She is a member of the NRF/DST Centre of Excellence in Food Security’s Community of Practice on Food Governance and serves on the advisory boards of a number of international research projects.

Current ongoing research projects include the BBSRC-funded Nourished Child project (hyperlink to here: https://gtr.ukri.org/projects?ref=BB%2FT009020%2F1) and the ESRC-funded Reimagining Infrastructure project (hyperlink to here: https://gtr.ukri.org/projects?ref=ES%2FT007958%2F1).

Jane teaches into at the undergraduate level.

EGS1003S Geography, Development & Environment

EGS2015S Society and Space

EGS4039S/EGS5039S Urban Food Security at the graduate level.


For a full list of publications please refer to Jane’s Google Scholar Online Profile (Hyperlink to here: https://scholar.google.co.za/citations?user=J0R_aUYAAAAJ&hl=en

Key Recent Publications (2016-2020)

a) Journal articles

  1. Davies, J., Hannah, C., Guido, Z., McCann, L., Battersby, J. & Evans, T. (2020) Barriers to urban agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa, Food Policy, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodpol.2020.101999
  2. Moseley, W.G. & Battersby, J. (2020) The vulnerability and resilience of African food systems, food security and nutrition in the context of the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, African Studies Review, 63 (3) 449-461, doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/asr.2020.72
  3. Odunitan-Wayas, F. O., Okop, K.J., Dover R.V.H., Alaba, O.A., Micklesfield, L.K., Puoane, T., Levitt, N.S., Battersby, J., Meltzer, S. T., & Lambert, E.V. (2020) Food purchasing behaviour of shoppers from different South African socio-economic communities: results from grocery receipts, intercept surveys and in-supermarkets audits, Public Health Nutrition, doi:10.1017/S1368980020001275
  4. Battersby, J. (2020) South Africa’s lockdown regulations and the reinforcement of anti-informality bias, Agriculture and Human Values, 37, 543-544. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10460-020-10078-w (Impact Factor: 2.22, Current citations: 1)
  5. Hunter Adams, J. & Battersby, J. (2020) Health care providers’ perspectives of diet-related non-communicable disease in South Africa, BMC Public Health. 20: 262
  6. Battersby, J. & Hunter Adams, J. (2020) No looking back: [food]ways forward for healthy African cities in light of climate change, Journal of Urban Health, 97 (2) 226-229.
  7. Battersby, J. (2020) Looking backwards to go forwards, Gastronomica, 20 (1), pp. 19-20
  8. Battersby, J. & Watson, V. (2019) The planned ‘city-region’ in the New Urban Agenda: an appropriate framing for urban food security?, Town Planning Review 90 (5) 497-518  https://doi.org/10.3828/tpr.2019.32  (Impact factor 0.78)
  9. Hunter-Adams, J., Battersby, J. & Oni, T. (2019) Food insecurity in relation to obesity and hunger in peri-urban Cape Town, South Africa, Appetite (Impact factor: 2.691, Current citations: 8)
  10. Battersby, J. (2019) The Food Desert as a Concept and Policy Tool in African Cities: An Opportunity and a Risk. Sustainability , 11 (2), 458. (Impact factor: 2.592, Current citations: 4)
  11. Odunitan-Wayas F., Okop, K., Dover, R., Alaba, O., Micklesfield. L., Puoane, T., Uys, M., Tsolekile, L., Levitt, N., Battersby, J., Victor, H., Meltzer, S., & Lambert E. (2018) Food Purchasing Characteristics and Perceptions of Neighborhood Food Environment of South Africans Living in Low-, Middle- and High-Socioeconomic Neighborhoods , Sustainability 10(2) 4801(Impact factor: 2.592, Current paper citations: 6)
  12. Hunter Adams, J., Battersby, J. & Oni, T. (2018) Fault lines in food system governance exposed: Reflections from the Listeria outbreak in South Africa, Cities and Health 2 (1), 17-21 https://doi.org/10.1080/23748834.2018.1508326 (Impact factor: New journal, Current citations: 3)
  13. Battersby, J. and Watson, V. (2018) Addressing food security in cities – a perspective from Africa, Nature – Sustainability, 1, 153-155. doi:10.1038/s41893-018-0051-y (Impact factor: New journal, Current citations: 16)
  14. Battersby, J. (2017) Food systems transformation in the absence of food system planning: The case of supermarket and shopping mall expansion in Cape Town, South Africa, Built Environment 43 (3) 417-430. (Impact factor: 0.413, Current citations: 31)
  15. Battersby, J. (2017) MDGs to SDGs - New goals, same gaps: The continued absence of urban food security in the post-2015 global development agenda, African Geographical Review 36 (1) 115-129 DOI:10.1080/19376812.2016.1208769 (Impact factor: 1.03, Current citations: 47)


  1. Battersby, J. and Watson, V. (eds.) (2019) Urban Food Systems Governance and Poverty in Africa, Routledge, London
  2. Joubert, L., Battersby, J. and Watson, V. (2019) Tomatoes & Taxi Ranks, African Centre for Cities, Cape Town (Current citations: 3)
  3. Crush, J. & Battersby, J. (Eds.) (2016) Rapid Urbanisation, Urban Food Deserts And Food Security In Africa, Springer, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-43567-1 (Current citations: 40)

Book Chapters

  1. Battersby, J., (2020) Apartheid/Postapartheid. In: Kobayashi, A. (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, 2nd edition. vol. 1, Elsevier, pp. 169–175. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-102295-5.10159-3
  2. Battersby, J. (2020) Data gaps and the politics of data: Generating appropriate data for food system assessment in Cape Town, South Africa, in Blay-Palmer, A., Conare, D., Meter, K. & di Battista, A. (eds.) Sustainable Food System Assessment: Lessons from Global Practice, Routledge: London, pp. 93-110.
  3. Battersby, J. & Haysom, G. (2020) Urban food security, in Massey, R. & Gunter, A. (Eds.) Urban Geography in South Africa, Springer, pp. 251-264. (Current citations: 2)
  4. Auerbach, R., Piek, H., Battersby, J., Devereux, S. & Olivier, N. (2019) The likely impact of the 2015/18 drought in South Africa: Lessons from the 2008 food price crisis and future implication, in Auerbach, R. (ed.) Organic Food Systems: Meeting the needs of Southern Africa, Cabi, pp. 81-99
  5. Battersby, J. and Haysom, G. (2019) How food secure are South African cities? In Knight, J. & Rogerson, C. (eds.) The Geography of South Africa – Contemporary Challenges and New Directions, Springer, pp. 169-178
  6. Battersby, J. & Haysom, G. (2019) Linking urban food security, urban food systems, poverty and urbanization, in Battersby, J. & Watson, V. (Eds.) Urban Food Systems Governance and Poverty in Africa, Routledge (Current citations: 4)
  7. Battersby, J. & Muwowo, F. (2019) Unacknowledged food systems governance in Kitwe, Zambia, in Battersby, J. & Watson, V. (Eds.) Urban Food Systems Governance and Poverty in Africa, Routledge (Current citations: 8)
  8. Fuseini, I., Sichone, O., & Battersby, J. (2019) Understanding food poverty in Kitwe: Nature, depth and household responses, in Battersby, J. & Watson, V. (Eds.) Urban Food Systems Governance and Poverty in Africa, Routledge (Current citations: 1)
  9. Battersby, J. & Watson, V. (2019) Introduction, in Battersby, J. & Watson, V. (Eds.) Urban Food Systems Governance and Poverty in Africa, Routledge. (Current citations: 4)
  10. Fonseca, J., Battersby, J. and Hualdo, L.A.T. (2018) Can Cities - from the Global South - be the Drivers of Sustainable Food Systems? In Sustainable Diets: The Transdisciplinary Imperative, CABI, pp. 79-88.
  11. Battersby, J. and Watson, V. (2018) Improving urban food security in African cities: Critically assessing the role of informal traders, in Cabannes, Y. & Marocchino, C. (eds) Integrating Food into urban planning, DPU-UCL/FAO, pp. 186-209. (Current citations: 10)
  12. Battersby, J. (2018) New goals, same gaps: The continued absence of urban food security in the post-2015 global development agenda. In Zulu, L. & D’Alessandro, C. (Eds.) Africa in the Post-2015 Development Agenda: A Geographical Perspective, Routledge
  13. Battersby, J. (2018) Cities and urban food poverty in Africa, in Watson, V., Bhan, G. and Srinvas, S. (Eds.) Companion to Planning in the Global South, Routledge: London. ISBN-13: 978-1138932814 (Current citations: 2)
  14. Battersby, J. (2017) Urban food security in developing countries: Shifting policy trajectories, in Marsden, T. (Ed.) The Sage Handbook of Nature, Volume 2, pp. 561-582 Sage: New York
  15. Battersby, J. (2017) Eat your greens, Buy some chips: Contested articulations of food and food insecurity in children’s lives, in Herrick, C. and Reubi, D. (Eds.) Global Health and Geographical Imaginations, Routledge: London, pp. 195-215.
  16. Battersby, J. & Crush, J. (2016) The making of urban food deserts, in Crush, J. & Battersby, J. (Eds.) Rapid Urbanisation, Urban Food Deserts And Food Security In Africa, Springer, pp. 1-19. (Current citations: 6)
  17. Battersby, J. & Peyton, S. (2016) The Spatial Logic of Supermarket Expansion and Food Access, in Crush, J. & Battersby, J. (Eds.) Rapid Urbanisation, Urban Food Deserts and Food Security In Africa, Springer, pp. 33-47. (Current citations: 11)
  18. Peyton, S., Moseley, W. & Battersby, J. (2016) Implications of supermarket expansion on urban food security in Cape Town, South Africa, in Moseley, W.G., Schnurr, M.A. & Kerr, R.B. (Eds.) Africa’s Green Revolution: Critical Perspectives on New Agricultural Technologies and Systems, Routledge, Abingdon.