The on-going abandonment of newly born babies in South Africa is a growing problem. With reports of 3500 plus per year. Once again, the ruling party through its hold over the State departments chooses to react rather than be proactive. This is a symptom of the sexual culture and large problems of our country, and there are solutions.
This month that was set aside to commemorate reproductive and sexual health month, should have been used to draw attention to this problem, we are dismayed that the state has not looked at creating more awareness campaigns around the subject. Women empowerment will play a key role in the solutions as well as men taking responsibility. The use of condoms is declining rapidly with sexually active youth aged 15 – 24 years contributing to the large number of people living with HIV, teen pregnancy and baby abandonment in SA. We cannot be naïve to the fact that young people are sexually curious from a much younger age. With the subject of sex being a difficult one to raise, we will continue to see the number of teen pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and child abandonment increase.
The introduction of female condoms is a step in the right direction, however, it is not enough. Women need to know it is acceptable to insist on the use of a condom, whether it be a male or female one. Women need to be sexually liberated, with patriarchy and tribalism, sexually oppressing women. There needs to be an unflagging social drive to empower and educate women on their rights. Having said this, the same needs to be done for men. As it has become far too common that men impregnate women and abandon them with the children and lifelong consequences. Leaving many young, unemployed women with very difficult choices. As well as leaving the taxpayer to subsidize these children. There is no one quick fix for these social challenges, however as the African Democratic Change (ADeC) we are proposing some solutions and rolling out projects to assist, such as our ‘second chance campaign’. Whereby we assisted teen mothers who didn’t complete their schooling to take care of the children by providing basic skills development that has led to them finding employment. At a cost of R800 per participant, the program changed not only the self-worth of these mothers, the future of their children, reduce the cost to the taxpayer but also the community as a whole. These short-term solutions are vital to the development of our social economic climate in South Africa. Should any member of the public wish to contribute to this project, they can do so through our various donation platforms. You can find more details on our website www.adec.org.za.
We see some immediate solutions through the distribution of condoms at high schools, a more extensive sexual education program in schools, sexual and reproductive awareness campaigns in rural areas and townships, the birth control pills available for free at every clinic in South Africa as well as other contraceptive’s, as well as the morning after pill, and the establishment of State family planning clinics. Where we see clinics and hospitals that do offer contraceptive’s, it is often that they are out of stock or communities are not aware of the services.
If we consider that child grant costs the taxpayer a minimum of R90 000,00 over 18 years, this is excluding the cost of education, health costs and much more. We believe that being proactive is the only way to address these symptoms. We will be unpacking these solutions and more at our Manifesto Rally in Alexandra township, Gauteng on the 6th of April 2019.
South Africa works, when South Africans unite!
Dr Moses Mayekiso
Cell: +27 67-026-2270
Cell: +27 81-548-5665
For more info, please log onto: www.adec.org.za