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The DA notes that 23 226 teenage pregnancies have been reported in the province from April 2020 to March 2021, which indicates a great need by the Gauteng Department of Education, Department of Social Development and Department of Health to strengthen their teenage pregnancy and sex education campaigns to conscientize our teenagers.
This information was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Health, Nomathemba Mokgethi in a written reply to my questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.
Teenage pregnancy impacts negatively on educational opportunities for young girls, especially those without the proper support and help, and are less likely to finish high school and pursue a career to support their families.
According to MEC Mokgethi, 934 babies were delivered by girls between the ages of 10 to 14 years, 19 316 babies were delivered by girls between the ages of 15 to 19 years, while 2976 girls between the ages of 10 and 19 years did a Choice on Termination of Pregnancy. In total there were 23 226 teenage pregnancies in Gauteng from April 2020 to March 2021.
These numbers are sad and incredibly troubling considering that these are young girls still have bright futures ahead of them.
Teenage pregnancy remains a serious social and health problem in South Africa. It poses a health risk to both mother and child, and it also has social consequences such as continuing the cycle of poverty and early school dropout.
The DA demands the following Gauteng departments of Social Development, Education and Health to intensify their campaigns against teenage pregnancy to 365 days a year and making teenage pregnancy prevention a priority in schools.
We also urge parents and guardians, as well as different stakeholders to work with government departments to assist in curbing teenage pregnancy - a societal issue that is affecting young girls.
Teenage girls should be taught about the consequences of teenage pregnancy and preventative measures to curb this. As for girls who are under the age of consent, they should also be taught their rights in this regard and to know, at no point, is anyone allowed to force themselves onto them.
The future of our girls can be saved through behaviour change with the correct knowledge and guidance provided by the provincial government.
Issued by DA