Situation of Children in South Africa

Situation of Children in South Africa

Snapshot of Children in South Africa

  • In our country there live 7 million girls and 7 million boys aged under 14 years, which means children of this age make up 29.2% of the total population.


  • The literacy-rate in South Africa amounts 86.4%, which means that 13.6% of our people can’t read or write properly, which excludes them from a lot of  different opportunities and activities.

  • The average South African young person goes to school for 13 years, which means he/she doesn’t receive further education after high school.

  • 96% of children of the age between 0 and 17 attend an education facility. What are the other 4% of them doing? It should be 100%.


  • 3 in every 5 of children younger than 17 are living in poor households with a total income less than R1,200, mostly in rural areas.Every fifth child in SA suffers from hunger and under-nutrition.


  • 4 out of 10 children have to travel more than 30 minutes to the nearest available clinic, which can jeopardize their life in a cruel situation.
  • 1 in 20 Infants dies before their first birthday.
  • Half of our children younger than 17 don’t have access to clean, reliable water supply in their house or yard.
  • 5 million South Africans are infected with HIV, every single day 1,000 of them die.


  • 1 in every 3 children younger than 17 lives in informal housing.
  • South Africa was ranked the country with the second highest crime rate in the world by the United Nations.
  • Every day 3 children get killed, mostly by perpetrators out of their close social environment.



Leakages and embezzlement in Schools

Leakages and embezzlement in Schools


Corruption in schools takes place in a variety of ways. It can begin with the very building blocks of schools, where local officials provide contracts for school construction to friends, usually with inflated costs. Corrupt school officials tasked with buying goods and services for the school may give the order to the company with the lowest quality, but the highest bribe. Sometimes the services that are meant to be provided never appear at all, often unbeknownst to students. For example, through so-called “ghost schools”, corrupt administrators may keep non-existent schools on the books in order to receive unwarranted salaries. On a larger scale, corrupt public and school officials may direct huge sums of money meant to go to schools – in order to provide children with free education – into their own pockets.
Every child has a right to access free primary education. The practice of school employees illegally demanding registration fees takes this away, hitting the poor the hardest. When students do enter the classroom, they are often taught by unqualified teachers, who purchase fake diplomas, undermining students’ right to quality education.
In the absence of proper oversight, school personnel and teachers may also engage in corrupt acts. In some cases, corruption has already occurred through their recruitment, if, for example, they only received the job as a favour from a relative linked to the school, and not on merit.
Teachers are tasked with a hugely important responsibility of transmitting knowledge to children and helping shape their consciousness. Corruption occurs where this responsibility is abused for private gain. This can happen, for example, where teachers offer private, fee-charging tuition to their students, which negatively affects those unable to pay for these extra lessons. This abuse of entrusted power can also take the form of sexual violence perpetrated against students.

Education is a fundamental human right. All around the globe it is seen as the key to a better future, life with dignity and a sustainable livelihood. Funding is critical to ensure that education achieves these ends. But resources alone are not sufficient. Corruption and mismanagement can squander funds before schools ever see them. Integrated mechanisms are needed to stop these losses before they start.

The education of our children cannot succeed when corruption taints our schools and universities

The education of our children cannot succeed when corruption taints our schools and universities

“For schools to educate the corruption fighters of tomorrow they need to be free
from corruption themselves. Without a strong dose of integrity, our schools and
universities will fail to provide future leaders with the basic tools needed to
succeed, and more importantly, to combat graft,” said Huguette Labelle, Chair of
Transparency International. “With nearly a fifth of the world’s population
between 15 and 24 years old, young people have the potential to stop corruption
both as the citizens of today and as the leaders of tomorrow.”

Children Start school too early

Children Start school too early

Sir Al Aynsley-Green, the former children’s commissioner for England and one of the letter’s signatories, told the paper: “If you look at a country like Finland, children don’t start formal, full-scale education until they are seven.

“These extra few years, in my view, provide a crucial opportunity, when supported by well-trained, well-paid and highly-educated staff, for children to be children.”

“Imagine if children were allowed to express themselves on national radio.”

“Imagine if children were allowed to express themselves on national radio.”

37 of SA population are children only 2% of the voices of the youth are heard on the radio/ newspapers.

Policy makers are always speaking about what is and what isn’t good for children.

We know that children are victims of violence, abuse, etc but we never ask them how they feel about it.

Children have a way to express their views and needs.


To breastfeed OR not to breastfeed

To breastfeed OR not to breastfeed

Many women do not get the nutrition required to produce adequately satisfying breastmilk. A large percentage of our population lives below the poverty line and rely on the cheapest of foods, which aren’t necessarily the most nutritious. Another solution often tossed around is expressing breastmilk, which ignores the woman who lives in a shack or mud-house, with no electricity never mind a fridge. For someone like me on the other hand, expressing milk wasn’t practical as my job requires that I travel often.