Government and civil society cannot rely on old programmes to prevent child pregnancies. This is the charge from Social Development Minister, Lindiwe Zulu.
She was responding to a revelation that 600 girls as young as nine and ten had given birth last year. According to Statistics South Africa over 899 000 births were recorded and registered in 2020. Out of this some 34 000 of the mothers were girls aged 17 and younger.
Stats SA warns that early pregnancy and motherhood create a greater risk in terms of maternal complications as well as force many girls to prematurely take on an adult role that they are not emotionally or physically prepared for. They also tend to abandon their formal education.
This figure has also alerted the country to the prevalence of children being exposed to rapists. The Minister notes that children are losing out on their right to proper development.
[Picture: Independent Media]