39% of SA kids raised by single moms

The majority of South African children are raised by single mothers, according to SAIRR.

Children enjoy their last days in a Johannesburg park before schools open in Gauteng. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

CAPE TOWN - The South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) on Monday said a little more than 30 percent of children live with both parents.

The institute's Thuthukani Ndebele said the majority of the country's 18 million young citizens come from single headed homes.

Ndebele said the 2011 research also showed an increase in child-headed households.

"The single largest proportion of children live with their mothers only, which is 39 percent. Only four percent live with their fathers and the remaining 24 percent live in child-headed households. We also have skip generation households which are those headed by grandparents."

Last week, President Jacob Zuma announced African children have the lowest proportion of present fathers at 31.1 percent.

Ndebele added children living without male figures were also more prone to a life of poverty.

"The crisis of absent of fathers lead to difficult living arrangements for the children and those who live without both parents are often more vulnerable to poverty."