CAPE TOWN – A shocking Statistics South Africa report from 2020 shows that there were 33 0000 teenage mothers, among them, there were 660 babies birthed by mothers aged 10 years and under.
In a report released on Thursday, Stats SA recorded live births in 2020 were released on Thursday, showing that 1 003 307 births were registered in South Africa.
It said of the recorded births, 899 303 (89.6 percent) occurred and were registered in 2020 (current birth registrations), while 104 004 (10.4 percent) were births that occurred in the previous years but were registered in 2020.
It said 453 165 boys and 446 138 girls were born during this time, however, it was noted that the highest number of births came from teenage mothers.
“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.
“Early pregnancy and motherhood in South Africa creates a greater risk in terms of maternal complications resulting in low survival rates of babies and forces many girls to prematurely take on an adult role which they are not emotionally or physically prepared for,” the report read.
Stats SA said according to law, all births must be registered within 30 days from the date.
In 2020, 80 percent of births complied with the law, however, KwaZulu-natal remained the only province which continued to perform poorly in terms of early birth registrations.
Only 64 percent of births have been registered within 30 days of occurrence.
Stats SA stated one of the biggest challenges is information about fathers.
More than 60 percent of births registered had no reliable information of fathers.
“Section 10 of the births and deaths acts prohibits unmarried fathers to have their information on the birth certificate of a child which contributes to the high number of births with no information on fathers.
“This is expected to change in the coming years as in September 2021 the Constitutional Court ruled that this section of the Registration of Births and Deaths Act is unconstitutional.
“This means unmarried fathers can now have their information registered in the birth certificate of their children at the Department of Home Affairs,” Stats SA said.