The current global economic crisis impacts widely on the poor and destitute, especially in developing countries, where it is significantly pronounced in informal urban settlements. Consequently, from a governance point of view
the issue of food security is a matter of concern. As a result, some municipal policy
makers assert that urban farming activities may be an effective way in which to alleviate the effect of hunger and malnutrition among destitute households - thus providing immediate relief to the needy. From a public administration point of view, it is argued that it may be more efficient to expend limited resources on programmes and projects to assist urbanites to become self-sufficient urban farmers, as opposed to spending such resources on merely acquiring and distributing food with the effect that dependency on government is maintained or even increased. However, the body of knowledge concerning the effective administration for food security among
municipalities in developing countries is currently limited. As a case in point, only a few Southern African municipalities have pronounced policies in this regard, yet even fewer have successfully incorporated such programmes and projects in their endeavours. En route to dealing with this challenge, consideration may be given
to improve the utilisation of the ward committee system, which forms an integral part of the South African local government system. In this article the following aspects are addressed: Firstly, the case of the City of Johannesburg is cited where provision is made in the day-to-day victual needs
of indigent peoples. Secondly, the South African local government system of ward committees is posed as an appropriate vehicle with which urban farming programmes and projects may be conducted. Furthermore, it is postulated that municipal decision makers should decisively apply an issue-driven approach as well as pro-poor growth strategies in their integrated development planning, for such programmes and projects. Lastly, the point made that urban farming
activities are not by default tantamount to Local Economic Development as such, but may be a catalyst to achieve this goal in due course.