Older men blamed for high KZN teen pregnancy rate

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Statistics reveal that out of 90 000 pregnant learners countrywide, over 26 000 are from KZN.(SABC)

The head of the Department of Education in KwaZulu-Natal, Nkosinathi Sishi, has blamed the high pregnancy rate among young school girls on older men. The release of findings of a 2013 survey shows a high number of pregnancies in the province. 

The high number of pregnancies among schoolgirls in the province has shown that KwaZulu-Natal is in the lead compared to other provinces. 

Statistics reveal that out of 90 000 pregnant learners countrywide, over 26 000 are from KwaZulu-Natal.

The province is home to about 19% of the South African population. 

Congress of South African Students (Cosas) provincial president Mhlengi Mabuya says there’s a programme in place in conjunction with the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) which aims at the education of learners. 

“We are having a programme with TAC on sex education. Last year, we had a conference where we were educating students about the responsibilities expected from them. We want everyone in SA to have information and learn more about sex.” 

Sishi says they have campaigns aimed at curbing teenage pregnancies at schools.

“Our campaign in the provinces is the fight against the spread of HIV and AIDS. It’s also targeting the older section of men that’s implicated in the relationship with young women. Doing so, we believe that the message will affirm the behaviour of well -behaved men in the province who are exemplary. We call upon all citizens to heed the call of our province in ensuring that they join the campaign of behavioural change of young people.”

Acting school Governing Bodies chairperson Zwile Zulu says this a societal matter

South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu)’s provincial secretary, Nomarashiya Caluza, says they are concerned.

“We are the ones who are to craft the future of the learners and if they become pregnant whilst they are at school it’s a worrying factor, even about the future of this country.”

Meanwhile, National Teacher’s Union (Natu) deputy president, Allen Thompson, says there’s a need to address the problem.

“Just to introduce a formal education to concentrate mainly on very critical issues, which include issues of pupils involving themselves in sexual activities. There’s a need on us to prioritise that chapter in a form of coming with a new curriculum amendment, so that we can teach learners about the importance of abstaining.” 

Acting School Governing Bodies chairperson Zwile Zulu says this a societal matter. 

“Single parenting is also a challenge. It’s a responsibility of man to stop other young man from doing this. It’s a responsibility for themselves also not to be sugar daddies and what have you.”