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This paper investigates what South African government policies cover in terms of different aspects of the food system, who is responsible for them, and how coordinated they are. Policy objectives are categorized into seven policy domains relevant to food systems: agriculture, environment, social protection, health, land, education, economic development, and rural development. Of the 91 policies reviewed, only 6  were “overarching” while nearly half of the policies emphasised agricultural production. Adaptive learning to improve impact has been limited due to isolated policy formulation and implementation. This paper argues that South Africa should translate its policies into tangible, practical plans and processes guided by effective coordination and alignment.