High number of orphans in KZN - premier
Johannesburg - A combination of political violence and the spread of HIV/Aids had left KwaZulu-Natal with the highest number of orphans among the provinces, Premier Zweli Mkhize said on Thursday.
Presenting the mid-year report before the full sitting of the KwaZulu-Natal legislature, Mkhize said the number of orphans meant that the province had to find innovative ways of dealing with the problem.
"We initially had the challenge of migrant labour in the province, but the effects of faction fights and political violence had a major impact on the increase in orphans," he said.
He added that the situation was worsened by the impact of HIV which had seen the rise in child-headed households in the province over the years.
"Serious attention has to be given to the matter of orphan care since this province is estimated to carry over 30 percent of the orphans in the country," Mkhize told the sitting.
In response to this government had joined hands with the private sector and NGOs to set up a Lungisisa Indlela Village, a village for orphans.
The village was expected to house 10 00 children who would be under the care of grown ups.
"Sustainable solutions have to be found to offer them care and proper upbringing."
He expressed optimism that the project would work and said the model was likely to be expanded into other provinces.