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More than 500 Christmas babies born across the country, Gauteng with the most

File Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency/ANA

File Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency/ANA

Published Dec 26, 2022


Pretoria - Gauteng is leading in Christmas births, with 432 babies born in the province, including five set of twins born in different hospitals.

The Department of Health said more 500 babies were born across the country.

Health minister Joe Phaahla welcomed the births and congratulated the parents and health-care professionals for the successful and safe delivery of the newborns.

In Limpopo, the province welcomed 217 babies with 118 boys and 99 girls. However, Limpopo health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba said it was concerning to observe an increase in the number of teenage mothers.

This year, 33 teenagers gave birth compared to 29 last year.

In an interview with eNCA, Ramathuba said one of the mothers was a 15-year-old from Malamulele in the Collins Chabane Municipality.

She said the department decided to intervene and find the father of the baby and hold him accountable for statutory rape if he is older.

“A police case has been successfully opened through our social workers and we shall await that process. I don’t want to comment much on the issue, let’s give the police an opportunity to do their investigations.”

Ramathuba said the government needs to do more to punish statutory rape offenders.

“I think it will take one successful prosecution of any man who gets involved in sexual activities with a teenager, so that they can see that when President Ramaphosa said gender-based violence, sexual assault of girls and women, is a serious crisis in our country, he really means it.”

In KwaZulu-Natal, the department of health reported 99 newborns this Christmas. The province welcomed 53 boys and 46 girls, including a set of twins born at Emmaus Hospital near Winterton.

The province said it was also deeply concerned with the rate of teenage mothers. Like Limpopo, the youngest mother in KZN is 15.