On the 18th of August 2021, Sowetan published an extremely disturbing article on teenage pregnancy statistics from last year April to this year in March. It reads “Ten year old pupils among 23 226 who fell pregnant in Gauteng, 934 babies were delivered by girls between the ages of 10 and 14. Girls as young as 10 are among 23 226 pupils who fell pregnant in Gauteng between April last year and March this year. This staggering number of pregnant children and teenagers was disclosed by Gauteng health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi in a written reply to questions by DA spokesperson for social development Refiloe Nt’sekhe in the provincial legislature. According to Mokgethi, 934 babies were delivered by girls between the ages of 10 and 14, while over 19 000 were delivered by those between the ages of 15 and 19. Nearly 3000 girls between the ages of 10 and 19 chose to terminate their pregnancies.“
This calls for a concern as pupils who are meant to go to school and uplift themselves but instead find themselves in situations such as pregnancies. Is it safe to say that the cycle of poverty is continuing? Is it safe to question whether or not the parent’s teachings to their children? At the age of 10 years are parents meant to talk to their children concerning sex? Is it not too soon? What are the contributing factors to pupils falling pregnant? A ten year old is still in primary therefore how does it results in unprotected sex? A ten year old should be in grade 4, 5 or 6 or perhaps is it peer pressure of friends, dating? There are numerous contributing factors however, does it make it normal or acceptable?
A parent who remained anonymous shares her experience which might be one of the few underlying factors. The anonymous parent shares her experience as her child fell pregnant while she was still in grade 10. “As disappointed as I was, I had no choice but to step in as a Mother however, I would definitely urge parents to talk to their children openly about sex both safe and unprotected as well as the use of contraceptives and so forth. Rather be friends with your child and make them feel welcomed as possibly as you can. Be strict but don’t be too strict.”
By Vuyokazi Bam