- KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane said the number of teenage pregnancies is over 18 000
- She said at least 1000 girls in the country are infected with HIV on a weekly basis and called for intervention
- Simelane added that society needs to change, and teenage pregnancy must be addressed urgently
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NKANDLA - The Health MEC for KwaZulu-Natal Nomagugu Simelane disclosed the startlingly high number of girls affected by HIV, teenage pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases.
She was speaking at a three-day youth conference at Impaphala in Nkandla on Saturday 18 June, and called for serious intervention.
The MEC said girls in the province aged between 10 to 17 had given birth to 18,550 babies during 2019 to 2020 financial year. She also said statistics show that at least 1000 girls in the country are infected with HIV weekly, according to TimesLIVE.
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Simelane slammed “sugar daddies” who have sexual relations with girls and called for parents and religious leaders to ask serious questions about these relationships. She said there must be a fight against old people dating young children.
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Simelane also encouraged people to always protect themselves against HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. She said that girls bear the brunt of teenage pregnancies because of the patriarchal nature of society. The MEC added that society needs to change, and teenage pregnancy must be addressed urgently, IOL reported.
SA angered over numbers
Social media users believe the high levels of teenage pregnancies is unacceptable:
Bernabe de la Bat said:
“In many instances, these are your husbands and sons you’re talking about. Control them.”
Tebadiso Kobeli posted:
“Sugar daddies don’t take advantage of young girls, they take advantage of bad parenting.”
Mthokozisi Linda Zwane commented:
“Don’t forget the department of education and government. They keep on coming up with syllabus that is questionable and the government keeps on taking parental rights and implementing stupid rules which work against parental guidance.”
Bernadette Delport added:
“Our country is broken.”
Department of Social Development calls on citizens to report child offenders, demands tougher laws
In a related matter, Briefly News also reported in honour of Child Protection Week, Deputy Minister of Social Development Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu called on communities to play an active role in protecting children. She was speaking during the launch of the week in Lusikisiki, a small town identified as a hotspot for teenage pregnancy.
In the past two years, the town has reported over 671 cases of girls aged 10 to 14 being impregnated. The deputy minister urged residents to report cases of statutory rape against people who have sexual relations with and impregnate children.
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Source: Briefly News