Almost 130 000 babies delivered in 2019 by schoolgirls - Deputy Minister of Basic Education
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Cape Town - Deputy Minister of Basic Education Reginah Mhaule has warned against teenage pregnancy saying almost 130 000 babies were delivered by girls between the ages of 10 and 19 two years ago and this was a serious scourge for the country.
She it said could not be business as usual when girls as young as 10 years old fall pregnant.
The other committees of Parliament have previously called for tough action against those responsible for impregnating girls as young as 10 years old.
During the National Council of Provinces debate, there were growing calls for collaboration between organisations, civil society and religious organisations needing to be proactive in addressing the issue which has changed the lives of so many young children.
In many instances, the rise in teenage pregnancy is attributed to gender-based violence and rape.
Mhaule said nearly 130 000 babies were delivered by teen mothers in 2019.
She called for strengthening the collaboration between organisations, civil society and religious organisations to fight the scourge.
A report released by Stats SA last week showed that over 34 000 teenagers became mothers in 2020, of which 688 of them were younger than 10 years old.
According to the report a total of 34 587 births were of mothers aged 17 years and younger. Of the 34 587 births from teen mothers, 16 042 were aged 17 years while 688 were 10 years young.
Deputy minister of police Cassel Mathale has called for children to be protected at all costs.
Mathale, said it has become clear that more needs to be done to address the scourge of teenage pregnancy and gender-based violence.
“We need to work closer together as government, civil societies, and the private sector. We must put all our resources together to put an end to all forms of GBV, including rape against children.
“We cannot continue to subject our children to such brutality. Children should be protected at all costs,” Mathale said.
DA MP Delmaine Christians, said the youth have to deal with an array of alienating factors determining their futures, sexual abuse and violence against children under the age of 18 is one of the main contributors to teenage pregnancies.
“The knock-on effect of teenage pregnancy is limitless and damning to the overall functioning of society as we know it.
“We need to take control of this double-pandemic and address the gaps in our social, medical and education sector before we completely lose young girls, young women and other vulnerable members of society to the social ills they have to battle on their own,” Christians said.