More pregnant girls in NW

Posted in Latest News

Klerksdorp Midweek, Klerksdorp - The Democratic Alliance (DA) Youth in the North West is concerned about the number of pregnant underage girls in the province.

The number has more than doubled since 2016.

Cllr Marialett Koekemoer said that in 2016, it was reported that 3 000 young girls were either pregnant or had already given birth, with the youngest being merely 12 years old.

“According to reports this number has since doubled, it was reported that 6 000 young girls from 24 villages in the North West are pregnant or have given birth, the youngest mother being only 11 years old.

“It is also concerning that some of these pregnancies are a result of rape and in some cases from older men who take advantage of young girls,’’ she said.

Statutory rape is a crime that is becoming more prevalent as a result of the dire socio-economic circumstances communities find themselves in. The scourge of sex for jobs and a culture of blessers further add to the complexity of dealing with underage pregnancies.

The DA has repeatedly raised concerns on the prevalence of underage pregnancies since 2016 with the Department of Social Development, who promised to investigate and address the challenges young girl children face.

The DA is proposing a multi-disciplinary approach that involve a dedicated programme to address this issue.

“The issue of childhood pregnancies requires an interdepartmental strategy that involves all stakeholders such as the Department of Education, Health, Social Development, the SAPS, Traditional and Religious leaders, non-governmental organizations and parents, who should come together to educate girls and offer the necessary support to first prevent underage pregnancies and secondly to ensure that those who do fall pregnant receive the necessary support to raise the soon to be born infants, while completing their education and that instances of predatory sexual abuse are investigated and prosecuted.”