Number of Eastern Cape orphans doubles
East London - The number of children growing up with no parents in the Eastern Cape has doubled in the last five years, from 352 000 to 701 000, according to report on Thursday.
This is according to a paper recently released by the national department of social development, which has revealed how poverty and unemployment in the mostly rural Eastern Cape has debilitated the family structure , the Daily Dispatch reported.
The huge growth in the number of orphans has added strain to already cash-strapped orphanages and places of safety.
The report said South African families should be supported to try to bring the numbers down.
Government’s response to the growing numbers is a "National Family Policy" - a green paper still awaiting input from various Cabinet ministers before it can be opened for public comment.
In its proposal, the government said the South African family was under threat from poverty, unemployment, unwanted pregnancies, HIV and Aids, absent parents and domestic violence.