Pregnant teens at 'crisis level'

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

KwaZulu-Natal premier S'bu Ndebele says he has called for an urgent forum to discuss the problem of young girls falling pregnant which has reached crisis levels.

Speaking to thousands of people in Nkandla, northern Zululand, on Monday, Ndebele said the escalating number of young girls falling pregnant has reached frightening levels.

"Last week I was on the South Coast, where I saw a number of children as young as 17 pregnant.

"There is a crisis in the African family; there is a crisis in the African community.

"We can't allow a situation like this to continue. We have to do something," he said.

Ndebele said there was a need to discuss the problem.

"We need to have a conference for traditional leaders, religious leaders, members of parliament and community based organisations to discuss this.

"Also the issue of boy fathers has to be discussed because it is not only young girls who fall pregnant and become mothers, but young boys who suddenly become fathers," he said.

Ndebele said what was even more worrying was that children from other races were not affected by the same problem.

"Since I was released from prison, I have never seen a young white girl pregnant. I'm not saying they don't fall pregnant, but I'm saying I have not seen them whether in Durban or anywhere else in the country.

"This tells me that we blacks have a problem and something has to be done, hence I make a call for us to have such a forum to discuss this crisis," he said.

This is not the first time that Ndebele has raised concern over this issue.