The City of Cape Town’s Health Directorate yesterday said “early indications are that the teen pregnancy rate appears to have declined even further year on year”.
While the data for 2015 has not been finalised, indications are that there has been a drop in the number of teen births compared with the previous year.
Of the 69 908 live births recorded in 2015, 2 704 were to mothers under the age of 18.
The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Health, Councillor Siyabulela Mamkeli, says: “This is very good news indeed and I want to applaud our young women and men who are taking responsibility for their sexual health. We need to stop clinging to the belief that young children will listen to us when we tell them to abstain.
“Ideally, yes, but the fact is that many are having sex and so it is our responsibility to make sure that they do so responsibly.
“Looking at the figures, it is clear that more and more young people are taking that responsibility, but also that the interventions are hitting the mark,” adds Mamkeli.
School outreach programmes have become a crucial intervention for City Health.
Mamkeli says: “It is still a challenge to get some schools to agree to us engaging with their learners.”
City Health offers various contraceptive methods free of charge, including the pill, injection, intra-uterine devices and condoms.
People can also be tested for sexually transmitted infections and HIV and receive counselling and treatment if required.