Realising the right to food in South Africa requires more than an increase in food production. Increasing access to food is equally important, so this article adopts a ‘food systems approach’. It argues that food security is not just a national and/or provincial government concern but a Constitutional imperative – municipalities are obligated to pursue the right to food. The article discusses the jurisprudence of the South African Constitutional Court on socio-economic rights. Secondly, the division of powers between national, provincial and local government. Specific emphasis is placed on the municipality’s responsibility to regulate trade and markets and the responsibility to conduct spatial planning and land use management.