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Dept urges society to do more to combat teen pregnancies

Recent figures released by Stats SA revealed that more than 99,000 teenagers fell pregnant in 2013.

Picture: Freeimages.com

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Basic Education has called on communities to play their role in the fight against teenage pregnancy following an increase in the phenomenon.

Recent figures released by Statistic South Africa revealed that more than 99,000 teenagers fell pregnant in 2013.

The rate has reportedly been increasing since 2011, despite initiatives by the department to raise awareness through its curriculum.

Education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said the lessons children are being given at school should match what they are taught at home.

He has called on parents to also take responsibility and work to prevent teenage pregnancy

"To make sure that parents talk to their children about how their bodies work, how to say no to those that are forced into sexual activity. They need to report this to the police."

The department has called for strong action to be taken against adults who impregnate teens.

The department said it wants to review its awareness programmes to raise further conscientious pupils.

Mhlanga said teenage pregnancy is often destructive for the lives of pupils and their families.

"Most come from poor families who don't have sustainable income and it just becomes a burden because it means all these children must now go and get social grants. And we can't continue like that, we need parents, we need society to come to party."