9 million kids with no dads
A TOTAL of 9million children are growing up without their fathers.
Research by the South African Institute of Race Relations indicates that "the 'typical" child is raised by a mother in a single-parent household". The children have absent but living fathers.
Phindile Bhengu, who is unemployed, raises her 3-year-old daughter single-handedly.
"The father is not involved in any way. He left when I fell pregnant."
Lucy Holborn, family project manager at the institute, said: "Our research indicates that the lack of a stable family life contributes to some of the social problems.
"Problems such as youth unemployment, violent crime, teenage pregnancy and alcohol and drug abuse are facing many families."
The First Step's to Healing the South African Family states: "South Africa has a number of unique circumstances that affect the structure of families. They include its history of apartheid, and particularly the migrant labour system. The HIV-Aids pandemic has also affected the wellbeing of family members."
The institute says data indicates that the proportion of fathers who are absent and living increased between 1996 and 2009 from 42percent to 48percent. Over the same period the proportion of fathers who were present decreased from 49percent to 36percent.
A racial dimension was evident in trends of absent fathers. African children under 15 years had the lowest proportion of present fathers in 2009 at 30percent, compared to 53percent for coloured children, and 85percent for Indians, and 83percent for whites.
Only 35percent of children were living with both their biological parents in 2008. About 40percent were living with their mother only, and 2,8percent with their father only, which leaves 22,6percent of children who were living with neither of their biological parents.
In 2007 some 44percent of all urban parents were single. About 52percent of African urban parents were single, as were 30percent of coloured parents, 7percent of Indian parents, and 24percent of white parents.
Seventy-nine percent of African urban single parents were female, as were 84percent of coloured, 64percent of Indian, and 69percent of white such parents.
The research indicates that the majority of urban single parents were African, female and between the ages of 25 and 34 years. Unemployment rates among urban single parents were also high.