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Pretoria – Living arrangements played a significant role in children’s ability to attend school, and children aged 7 to 17 years who lived with both parents were more likely to attend school as opposed to those without parents or only with a father present.

Statistician-General Dr Pali Lehohla on Thursday said only 29% of black African children lived with both parents as compared to 75.6% of whites and 74.8% of the Indian population in 2015.

“We are faced with the huge challenge of children who do not live with their parents. And once parents are not there, chances of not attending school are very high,” he said.

But with that, there was an increase of 1.6% of South African children who attended school in 2015 compared to 2010.

Lehohla said most children who did not live with their parents in the household lived with their grandparents.

But that did not mean things got better as grandparents could not assist with homework.

“Just as everyone wants to work and make money, 21% of children aged 7 to 17 were also involved in economic activities. Statistics showed that in 2015, more boys were engaged in economic activities compared to girls. In 2015 fewer numbers of both boys and girls worked," Lehohla said.

Though involvement in economic activities declined in 2015, Lehohla said most children involved in economic activities were more likely not to attend schools. And they mostly participated in economic activities for their own benefit.

Pretoria News