Youth fall pregnant for govt grants: Survey

By Drum Digital
12 December 2012

The youth in South Africa think that 45 percent of teenagers fall pregnant to get government grants, a survey revealed on Tuesday. Consumer insights company Pondering Panda conducted the poll among 4418 South African aged between 15 and 34.

According to the survey 37 percent of the youth think teenagers fall pregnant was because they do not believe in birth control and 11 percent thought it was because they wanted children. Seven percent of people polled did not have an opinion.

"Younger respondents were more likely to think teens who had babies wanted the government grant," Pondering Panda said in a statement. Fifty-three percent of 15 to 17-year-olds felt this way, compared to 43 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds."

Black, coloured and Indian youth thought teenagers who had children were doing it to get access to the grant as they scored between 44 percent and 46 percent, they added. But 43 percent of white respondents thought teenagers fell pregnant because they did not believe in birth control.

Pondering Panda spokeswoman Shirley Wakefield said the survey showed that the youth in the country thought the high rate of teenage pregnancies was because of poor use of birth control or lack of sexual education.

"They see the government's child support grant as an active incentive for teens from low-income families to have children," Wakefield said.

"Whilst teen pregnancy is a complex societal issue, government needs to understand how it is viewed by the youth, and work with educators to change the perception that state hand-outs are an acceptable means of financial support for teens."

The interviews were done on cell phones between November 7 and November 10 across the country and results were weighted to be nationally representative, she added.

-by Sapa

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