Media Statement


Lusikisiki, 01 March 2022: The Department of Social Development has started its roundtable discussions around the country to strengthen the existing child protection system to prevent teenage pregnancy. The discussions which began in Lusikisiki, Ingquza Hill District municipality, aim to target districts that recorded the highest number of teenage pregnancies in the past two years from the four provinces namely KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Limpopo, and the Eastern Cape. Statistics South Africa revealed that the country recorded 34 587 teenagers who gave birth in the 2020/21 financial year. 


Acting Chief Director: Child Protection in the Department, Ms. Neliswa Cekiso said as a Department tasked with the responsibility to care for and protect children, the high number of teenage pregnancies should be a cause for concern. “Teenage pregnancy is a multifaceted problem that requires a comprehensive intervention,” said Cekiso. 


Attended by among others, representatives from the Departments of Social Development, Health, Basic Education, the SAPS, and Traditional Leaders, the round table discussion agreed that there is a need for a holistic approach to address the challenge of teenage pregnancy. 


 Ms. Cekiso revealed in the meeting that during 2019 in KZN there were 671 deliveries by children between the ages of 10-14 years and 661 deliveries in 2020. In the Eastern Cape during 2019, there were 671 deliveries by the 10-14 years and in 2020, there were 661 deliveries. The 15-19 years recorded 17 211 in 2019 from the Eastern Cape and 17 740 in 2020. 


Noluthando Gwiji from the Eastern Cape Department of Health said there were interventions and continuous campaigns by the Department of Health but the numbers are not going down which should be a serious concern for the country. 

“There are times at Holy Cross Hospital in Flagstaff where 80% of deliveries are by children,” a concerned Gwiji said. 


Cekiso also stated that Section 110 of the Children’s Act, 38 of 2005, makes provision for reporting of suspected cases of abuse for purposes of triggering immediate response and measures to assist a child whose life is at risk.


Ms. Cekiso further highlighted that daily reported abuse disclosed by a child to a mandatory or non-mandatory adult whether it happened a long time ago or recently, needed to be taken seriously and most importantly reported to the police or the Department of Social Development. 

“We all have an obligation as communities, parents, caregivers, teachers, health professionals to report suspected child abuse cases,” said Cekiso.  


 In order to ensure targeted interventions to the affected pregnant children, the National Department of Social Development has requested provincial departments to profile and assess the children so that adequate services can be provided including investigation and referral to the South African Police Service (SAPS) in instances of statutory rape. The Department has also communicated with the Directors General of Health and Basic education so that at a national level, current policies and programmes can be evaluated and improved. The Department of Basic Education has launched its policy on the prevention and management of learner pregnancy in schools on February 17 in the North West. 


According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), teenage pregnancy is a global problem but occurs most often in poorer and marginalized communities. Many girls face considerable pressure to marry early and become mothers while they are young.


The Department will continue with the roundtable discussions in KZN in March. 




Ms Lumka Oliphant on 083 484 8067 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.