Teens fall pregnant for grants - survey

2012-12-11 22:31
Apple iphone. (Paul Sakuma, AP)

Apple iphone. (Paul Sakuma, AP)

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Johannesburg - The youth in South Africa think that 45% of teenagers fall pregnant to get government grants, a survey revealed on Tuesday.

Consumer insights company Pondering Panda conducted the poll among 4 418 South African aged between 15 and 34.

According to the survey 37% of the youth think teenagers fall pregnant was because they do not believe in birth control and 11% 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% 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% and 46%, they added.

But 43% of white respondents thought teenagers fell pregnant because they did not believe in birth control.

Pondering Panda spokesperson 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 cellphones between 7 and 10 November across the country and results were weighted to be nationally representative, she added.

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