Give the pill to 12-year-olds – ANCYL

2011-04-30 17:31

Julius Malema’s ANC Youth League (ANCYL) wants government to ­provide contraceptives to girls from the age of 12.

This, together with legalising prostitution and raising the age limit for buying alcohol from 18 to 21, are among the proposals contained in the ANCYL’s education and health discussion paper for its 24th national congress in June.

The league has promised in its ­document to take a clear policy position on the matter and “guide society and look at all the pros and cons of legalising prostitution”.

It describes teenage pregnancy as a “perennial societal problem” that has reached alarming ­proportions.

The youth league supports the “mandatory initiation into contraception for all adolescent girls from the age of 12 to curb teenage pregnancy”.

But Katharine Hall, senior researcher for the Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town, fears the league’s discussion document has the potential to jeopardise children’s rights.

“I suspect it would be in contravention of the new Children’s Act.”

Hall said the act already made provision for 12-year-olds to ­access contraceptives, but does not mention that it should be mandatory.

“It smacks of an authoritarian approach which is contrary to promoting safe sex behaviour that will not only curb teen ­pregnancies but also HIV/Aids ­infections.”

Hall said data on teen pregnancies showed the phenomenon to be on the decline.

Statistics SA’s community survey estimates for 2007 ­confirm this.

Zanele Mkhonza (17), a learner from Meadowlands, welcomed the idea of compulsory contraceptives.

“Making contraceptives available at this age is one of the interventions that should be entered into, but we must be careful not to send a message that teenagers are free to engage in sexual activities,” she said.

Sello Makhura, a Soweto ­parent, said he welcomed any measure to help reduce teenage pregnancies, “provided this does not result in our children freely engaging in sexual activities at a very young age”.

Floyd Shivambu, ANCYL spokesperson, declined to ­comment.

ANCYL spokesperson FlOYD Shivambu declined to comment on the proposals.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.