Over three million children orphaned in SA

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pretoria - Over three million children are currently orphaned in South Africa, according to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA).

"Just under one fifth (19.6%) of all children in South Africa, representing approximately 3.6 million individuals, are orphaned," said Stats SA in its social profile of vulnerable groups in South Africa, 2002-2010 report.

The report is released annually. It analyses changes in the situation of children, the youth, the elderly and women over time.

According to the report, KwaZulu-Natal has the largest percentage of orphans at 26.9% followed by the Eastern Cape at 24.7% and the Free State at 21.9%.

The report has found that black African children are most likely to be orphaned than children from any other population group.

"More than one fifth (22%) of black African children are classified as orphans compared to the 9.6% Coloured, 4.2% Indian/Asian and 2.5% White children," noted the report.

Stats SA attributed this to the large number of paternal orphans in three provinces that are considered to be migration-sending provinces namely KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Limpopo.

Children and youth comprise respectively 40% and 37% of South Africa's total population with older persons comprising less than 8% of the population, although this group is growing rapidly.

The data shows that 4.4% of children are double orphans (without both parents), 11.6% paternal orphans, 3.5% maternal orphans and that the remaining 80.4% of children are not orphaned.

Only 33.5% of children live with both parents while 23.9% live with neither parents and 3.3% live with their fathers and 39.3% live only with their mother.

Women who head 37.5% of all households data has shown that the percentage increases with age peaking at 54.3% for women older than 70-years. More dependents are found in female-headed households.

Approximately 62.1% of children live in households with a per capita income of less than R570 per month.

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