KZN Health MEC makes a strong call for parents and guardians to take responsibility in raising their children

Do not ululate or look the other way when your son brings home a girl in school uniform: she says

14 June 2023

As the country continues to commemorate Youth Month, the MEC for Health in KwaZulu-Natal Ms Nomagugu Simelane has made a strong plea for parents not to abdicate their responsibility, but become more hands-on in raising their children, in order to help reduce the rate of teenage pregnancy.

The MEC was speaking during an Operation Sukuma Sakhe outreach programme in Verdriet, near Dannhauser (Newcastle) yesterday after visiting a clinic, where it emerged that seven school children fell pregnant during April and May this year.

Between April and December last year, the Province of KwaZulu-Natal registered a total of 26 515 pregnancies by girls between the ages of 10 and 19. This included 1254 girls the ages of 10 and 14.

Yesterday, MEC Simelane said: “We can talk until we are blue in the face - until blood comes out of our eyes, but if we as parents and guardians don't take responsibility in raising our kids properly, nothing will ever change."

MEC Simelane, who is the OSS champion for Amajuba District, urged communities to regard teenage pregnancy as an abnormality that is disgraceful.

"It's a disgrace that in this community there are children aged 13 and 14 who have fallen pregnant.

"It is a disgrace that in this community, in April and May, we've seen more than seven children who are school-going who've fallen pregnant. It's a disgrace.

"It is not a disgrace of Government, but a disgrace for the parents. It is a disgrace for us as the Black nation, because such things are only happening in the Black community.

She also challenged parents who condone inappropriate behaviour by under-aged children in their own homes, and called on them to go back to basics and adopt a stricter approach.

"As a mother of a boy, seeing your son bring a girl into your house, a child that you know is school-going, what does your conscience say? What do you say as a mother? As a father, what do you say when your home gets turned into a den of inequity?

"Government is not there when those things happen. Government will not be able to come into your house, get into a room and separate underage kids [who are having sex] when you as a parent are abdicating your responsibility.

"If you ululate when your underage son brings a girl into the house and say, 'My son is a casanova' How do you even do that?"

"It is disgusting for a 13 year-old child not to come back home. It is disgusting and unacceptable for a 17 year-old boy to sleep with a 13 year-old girl. We should never allow such things to happen."

The MEC also reiterated her call for young people to abstain from sex and focus on their education, while those who cannot abstain were asked to practice safe sex and use contraceptives.

Issued by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health

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