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Hlanganani Gumbi is greatly concerned with the dwindling future of many young girls in South African, owing to unwanted school pregnancy and spread of deadly deseases.

If learners from Grade 6 and 7 who fell pregnant are taken into account‚ the number jumps to 1‚449.

“This information should shock every South African‚” the DA’s MP and basic education portfolio committee member Sonja Boshoff said in a statement.

“Young girls‚ most under the legal age of 16‚ are having their futures undermined‚ likely through being taken advantage of or abused‚” Boshoff said.

She said further urgent questions would be submitted to ascertain whether these girls were under the age of 16‚ and if so‚ if any charges have been instituted against those responsible.

“We will also investigate whether these girls have since returned back to school‚ following the birth of their child‚ what support the school and the Department of Basic Education have provided them to catch up on the syllabus‚ and whether counselling and other emotional support has been provided‚” Boshoff said.

Further numbers from the parliamentary reply show that 18‚357 pupils fell pregnant in 2014‚ 15‚504 in 2015‚ and 8‚732 in 2016.

“Although the overall numbers seem to indicate a drop in school pregnancies‚ the department was not able to provide the statistics for Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.”

“Traditionally‚ these two provinces account for large numbers of school pregnancies‚ a total of 6‚477 in 2014 and 5‚178 in 2015 combined.”