Friday, 03 August 2018
In the backdrop of the National Women’s Month, the Deputy Minister of Social Development Ms Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu will on Saturday, 4 August 2018 hold dialogues with teenage mothers and their parents/primary caregivers in Ndwedwe, a rural community in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal.

The dialogues seek to highlight critical issues facing young women in rural areas and also form part of the comprehensive intervention plan initiated by Deputy Minister Bogopane-Zulu targeting this area. Other interventions include the construction of a newly-built state of the art Early Childhood Development (ECD) centre for children with disabilities and the renovation of an additional ten ECD facilities.

The Deputy Minister conducted a community outreach programme in Ndwedwe in 2017 and the issue of teenage pregnancy was raised as a huge developmental concern by parents and local authorities alike. What is of great concern is that some of the girl learners who fall pregnant do not return to complete their schooling, which has a long lasting impact on generations of young parents and their children, and often leads to intergenerational cycle of poverty. Deputy Minister also wish to highlight and educate community members about the rights of young girls especially if older men were having sex with them. It is a criminal offense in the country to have sex with a 16-year-old child.

In 2017, statistics released by the Department of Basic Education show that primary school learners, as young as those between grade 3 and 7 were reported to have fallen pregnant. This raises serious legal questions as most of these learners are still minors in terms of the Children’s Act and any form of sexual activity constitutes statutory rape. It is worth recognising that a significant number of men who impregnate the young learners are much older and yet their role and responsibility is often ignored. Besides dealing with pregnancy and its complications at such a tender age, young learners are exposed to sexually transmitted infections, including HIV and AIDS.

Teenage pregnancy in South Africa is driven by many factors, including gender inequalities and high levels of gender-based violence in communities. The dialogues are part of the implementation of the National Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Framework Strategy that seeks to address challenges relating to sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people. The dialogues will culminate into a community based plan that will amongst others include teenage pregnancy prevention programme, care and support services for teenage parents to realise their right to education and keeping teenage mothers in school.

Members of the media are invited to attend and cover opening of Sizimisele ECD Centre arranged as follows:

Date: 04 August 2018

Time: 09h00

Venue: Sizimisele ECD Centre, Inanda – KZN Province

Media RSVPs may be forwarded to Mr Jaconia Kobue on 060 960 6585 / 063 249 5120 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it



Media Enquiries may be directed to Ms Lumka Oliphant on 083 484 8067 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it