Thousands of underage children in SA are married, Parliament hears

2018-07-04 17:58
Many children in SA are married. (iStock)

Many children in SA are married. (iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Almost 100 000 underage children in South Africa are married, the Commission for Gender Equality told the Portfolio Committee on Social Development in Parliament on Wednesday.

In some instances, mothers along with uncles or other relatives of the 91 000 underage children had agreed on dowries for children as young as 14 years old, chairperson Lulama Nare said.

Legally, for marriages in which one of the partners is younger than 18, written consent is necessary to obtain a marriage certificate from the Department of Home Affairs.

READ Suffer little children: The missing, the lost and the dead

In one instance, she said, a child ran away from her husband. When he returned from Gauteng, her family took her back to him.

Nare said most child abductions where children as young as 13 were kidnapped to marry older men occurred during the December holidays.

She said there was also no collaboration between organisations such as the commission and state authorities to deal with child abuse and rape.

Police stations are acting as mediators and social workers when crimes are reported to them, Nare said.

She also highlighted that it was not the role of the authorities to tell a victim to return to their family or call the elders to try and resolve it, as happened in many cases.

Many instances such as these end in death, she said.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    cape town  |  child abuse  |  parliament 2018

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.