Home News Child hunger most prevalent in N Cape – Stats SA

Child hunger most prevalent in N Cape – Stats SA

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A total of 4.9% cited illness as the reason for not attending school, while 5.2% cited pregnancy

Picture: AP Photo/File

THE NORTHERN Cape has the highest percentage of children living in households that reported hunger in 2017.

This is according to the Vulnerable Groups Indicator 2017, released by Stats SA yesterday.

According to the statistics contained in the report, 22.1% (more than one in five children) lived in households that reported hunger. This was the highest percentage in the country, with the lowest being Limpopo at 4.2%. The national average was 13.9%.

Almost one in five children in the Northern Cape have also not completed Grade 5.

According to the statistics, a total of 17.9% of children in the Province have not completed Grade 5. The province with the highest percentage was the Eastern Cape with 23.3% of children not having completed Grade 5, while in Gauteng the figure is 5.4%.

Most of those who have not completed Grade 5 in the Northern Cape are males (28.9%) while the number of females who have not completed Grade 5 is 8.9%.

A total of 26.1% of children in the Provinces have not completed Grade 9. Here the highest figure is the North West province with 38.7% and the Eastern Cape with 37.4%. In Gauteng 9.9% of children have not completed Grade 9.

The most common reason given for children between the ages of seven and 17 years in the Northern Cape not attending school was because of disabilities, with 23% of children citing this as the reason they are not at school.

Another major reason is poor academic performance (14.1%), with others including the fact that the children have completed their education (8.9%), they were too old (2.1%), they had no money for fees (7.6%), they were working or had no time (3.9%) and they had family commitments (6.2%), while 1.9% felt education was not useful.

A total of 4.9% cited illness as the reason for not attending school, while 5.2% cited pregnancy.

In terms of safety, a total of 77.1% of children lived in households were the household felt unsafe to walk alone at night, while 57.1% lived in households where the fear of crime prevented them from going to open spaces or parks.

Just over 80% (81%) of persons aged 20 years in the Province are functionally literate. Sixty-five percent of the youth of the Province have less than matric, 25.3% have matric, while 3.2% have other tertiary qualifications and 5.1% are graduates.

The study also looks at the aged in the Province – those aged 60 years and older. More than 80% (81.6%) of older persons in the Province are beneficiaries of social grants, while more than half (53.3%) live in households without an employed adult. Almost 10% (9.6%) of older persons experience hunger.

Just over half (55.6%) of the aged are functionally literate, while 84% have less than matric and 10.8% have matric.

Almost 80% (77.9%) of the aged feel unsafe to walk around at night while 54% fear crime.

The disabled make up 10.7% of the population. In this group, 21.78% have no schooling at all, while 28.79% have some primary schooling.

Only 25.9% have some secondary schooling while less than 10% (9.5%) have Grade 12, while 3.1% of disabled people in the Province have higher education qualifications.