By Neelam Rahim
According to the South African medical journal there were over 4000 births given between 2021 and 2022 by children at the ages of 10 to 14 years old. The spotlight shines on teenage pregnancy amongst the many discussions surrounding The National Child protection week (CPW) observed in South Africa annually to raise awareness about the rights of children as articulated in the children’s act of 2005.
A good number of people attended the Child protection week Launch in Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape, The National Department of Social Development raises awareness in the rise of teenage pregnancies.
Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu says adult men are mainly responsible for teenage pregnancies. “I don’t know whether I must say let’s protect children, maybe I must start by saying let’s respect children because when you respect somebody you have the energy to actually protect them. I really need to say this, it is older men who are responsible for making these girls pregnant. Half of them have families and half of them know that they’ve got money to flash big cars. I call them the 4ms, I call them “mature mobile men with money” are my problem,” says Bogopane-Zulu, Deputy Minister for Social Development.
Acting chief director in the department Neliswa Cekiso said the department tasked with the responsibility to care for and protect children,
“Teenage pregnancy is a multi-faceted problem that requires a comprehensive intervention. We all have an obligation as communities, parents, caregivers, teachers, health professionals to report suspected teenage abuse cases,”
In a recent report titled “Adolescent and Youth Health Policy,” suggests that children born to teenage mothers increased by 60% during COVID-19 national lockdown.