Stats SA clears air on teenage pregnancy

Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi wih Statistician General Pali Lehohla

Stats SA has shrugged off suggestions that the high teenage pregnancy in the country could be compounded by the provision of child grants by government.

Statistician-General Pali Lehohla said no evidence could be found by the government’s statistics engine that could link the soaring numbers of teenagers that fall pregnant, with social grants that are given for children.

“There is no truth to those allegations, we could not find any evidence that could show that teenagers fall pregnant because they want to get the money from government for grants,” said Lehohla.

Also read: Department deals with school pregnancy crisis

At the same briefing Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi said the department was relieved that the stigma around teenage pregnancy in the country and grants could be cleared.

“We have always maintained that teenage pregnancy has nothing to do with grants, actually most of the teenagers who fall pregnant only register for grants two years after the child is born. It’s just that people don’t want to consider the facts in front of them,” said Motsoaledi.

Motsoaledi said South Africa was the only country on the continent that provides social grants but the (pregnancy) issue persists throughout the continent.

“We are not alone, actually in some African countries the situation is much worse and they don’t have the social grants. Our people need to understand that the issue of child grants is a societal issue and we have to address it collectively,” said Motsoaledi.

Also read: Teen mothers receive parenting advice in the North

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Ramaupi Makgoo

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