Teenagers between the age of 10 and 19 have contributed 13.9% to registered child birth in 2016, according to the Recorded Live Births report released by Statistics South Africa on Thursday.
Out of the 969 415 births recorded last year, 136 996 were born to teen mothers, and another large number of births occurred to mothers between the ages of 20 and 39 years totalling 783 322, Statistician-General Pali Lehohla said in Pretoria during a media briefing.
According to the statistics, a majority of the births were for male children amounting to 442 301, while 434 134 were for females.
The report stated that women, aged between 20-29, had registered the most child births with the highest percentage without the details of fathers.
During a media briefing in May, Lehohla dismissed the widespread notion that young women fall pregnant in a bid to cash in on the government offered child support.
He says that on the basis of evidence, teenage pregnancy in South Africa is not rising but remained stable.
“There is a notion that the grants inflict young kids, young girl to produce children…The evidence before us over a period from 1998 to 2016 doesn’t show that. It doesn’t show any increase in the proportion of teenagers who are giving birth, therefore dismissing and dispensing with that myth which is popular (among) parents especially I’m rural areas,” says Lehohla.
Overall, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal had the highest number of birth occurrences compared to other provinces.
Relative to other months, the months of March and September had the highest number of birth occurrences implying increased conception in June and December.