Gauteng records more than 23 000 teen pregnancies in one year, some moms as young as 10

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(Pierre Ogeron/Getty Images)
(Pierre Ogeron/Getty Images)
  • A total of 23 226 teenage pregnancies were recorded by the Gauteng Department of Health between April 2020 and March 2021.
  • The figure was revealed by the province's MEC for health in a written response to questions from the DA tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.
  • 2976 girls between the ages of 10 and 19 years chose to terminate their pregnancy.

The Gauteng health department recorded more than 23 000 teenage pregnancies between April 2020 and March 2021, with 934 girls between the ages of 10 and 14 giving birth. 

This was revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi in a written response to questions from the DA tabled in the Gauteng legislature.

A total of 23 226 teenage pregnancies were recorded in that time period, with 2 976 girls between the ages of 10 and 19 choosing to terminate the pregnancy. 

"These numbers are sad and incredibly troubling considering that these are young girls still have bright futures ahead of them. Teenage pregnancy remains a serious social and health problem in South Africa.  It poses a health risk to both mother and child, and it also has social consequences such as continuing the cycle of poverty and early school dropout," said the DA in a statement. 

ALSO READ | One in five South Africans now lives on less than R28 a day, the UN finds

July saw the most births from girls between the ages of 15 and 19 (1 984 deliveries), while August had the highest number of deliveries (155) for girls between the ages of 10 and 14.  

Mokgethi said that the department had no data on how many statutory rape cases were opened because of the pregnancies. 

She said:

Cases of statutory rape are reported by healthcare social workers at hospitals and clinics to the Department of Social Development and SAPS. There are no statistics collected specifically on statutory rape by the department of health.

The DA also called on the social development, education and health departments to intensify their campaigns against teenage pregnancy. 

"Teenage girls should be taught about the consequences of teenage pregnancy and preventative measures to curb this. As for girls who are under the age of consent, they should also be taught their rights in this regard and to know, at no point is anyone allowed to force themselves onto them," the party said. 

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