Tussle on school condoms

2012-10-05 00:00

HEALTH Minister Aaron Motsoaledi yesterday warned South Africans not to trivialise the issue of supplying condoms in schools.

A visibly annoyed Motsoaledi was addressing the media at the Royal Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg yesterday during the inaugural plenary meeting of the reconstituted South African National Aids Council (Sanac).

The Sowetan reported yesterday that Motsoaledi and Basic Education Minister Angie Motshega were heading for a showdown over the issue.

The two departments are putting together a school health programme that will provide services including sex education, HIV counselling and testing to school pupils.

Motsoaledi reportedly told the Sunday Times that condom distribution would form part of the package.

However, Basic Education spokesperson Panyaza Lesufi told the Sowetan there can be no condoms in schools.

Motsoaledi said the debate around the matter was mischievous and said the decision whether to supply the condoms should not be affected by the views of either department, but be a choice made by those who are affected.

“I visited one of the testing centres in this [Pietermaritzburg] district and saw very young girls in the line queuing to be tested. I asked them how old they were and some said they were nine and 10.

“When I asked them what they were doing there, they said they were going to get tested as they wanted to know their status.

“Now who am I to say they should not be in that line as they are too young? It’s not like we will park a truck at the school and say to the children ‘come and get condoms’.

“But through the school health programme, a nurse at the school will speak to the children in a one-on-one situation and determine if they are having sex and if they are using condoms, and provide those who don’t with condoms.”

He said this was one of the strategies to curb HIV infection, as the department could not keep on giving ARVs without trying to break the cycle.

And it is not only about HIV infection, he said.

“There is a school in Richards Bay where 60 pupils fell pregnant in one year. The teachers started distributing condoms and that number has halved.”

Join the conversation!

24.com 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.

24.com 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 24.com 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.