By JUMOKE SIMI
The Minister of Social Development in South Africa, Lindiwe Zulu, has raised serious concern over the scourge of teenage pregnancy among schoolgirls in the country.
Zulu urged the different parties to put aside their political differences and fight the scourge after 90,000 schoolgirls got pregnant his year.
According to the minister, the figures were shocking, and the fight cannot be left to one sector of society alone.
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) MP Zandile Majozi called for police to act swiftly against those who sexually abuse girls, as some of the children who gave birth were as young as 10 years old.
In the report that was tabled in Parliament before the Multi-Party Women’s Caucus on Thursday, November 30, it showed that 88,122 schoolgirls between the ages of 15 and 19 years old got pregnant this year. In addition, 2,328 girls between 10 and 14 years old also got pregnant during the year.
Deputy Minister of Small Business Development, Dipuo Peters said it was shocking that 10-year-old girls were falling pregnant, and some of the abuses happen outside school.
Zulu said women from different political parties must forge unity in the fight against this scourge. She said there were many girls who were getting pregnant at an early age, and government has to intervene. Zulu added:
“From the department of social development, please help us with our programmes in dealing with teenage pregnancy because it is increasing.
We need to work together to ensure that we end this teenage pregnancy and all the concerns that we have around teenage pregnancy. We must work together with families and with communities.
I want to say to the caucus and the women of South Africa in their different political parties that while we might have differences in our political approach, we cannot have differences when it comes to the building of families, when it comes to helping our children, and when it comes to building this country.”
Majozi said they cannot fold their arms when children are facing the scourge of sexual violence and falling pregnant at a young age.
“Our children are suffering more than us. We cannot stand and watch while everything is falling apart,” said Majozi…