Politics

'Nomcebo is not ready to be a mother, she's still a child': Mabuza on teen pregnancy

'Nomcebo is not ready to be a mother, she's still a child': Mabuza on teen pregnancy

ANC deputy president David Mabuza stunned the community of Plangeni outside Upington on Wednesday when he summoned a 17-year-old girl to the stage to present her with “nice things”.

As everyone held their breath in anticipation, Mabuza presented the teen with an ANC  doek.

Mabuza was in Upington to mobilise for the ANC anniversary celebration billed for Kimberley this coming Saturday.

Plangeni was initially not in his programme for the week, but a community leader pleaded with Mabuza on Tuesday to go there and listen to their plight.

The community is an informal settlement on grape farms in the Upington area and comprises farm workers who live in shacks, have no running water, no sanitation or electricity. There is a high rate of pregnancy.

Mabuza said teenagers ought not to be falling pregnant but should rather focus on their schooling.

“When I came here I saw some young girl ... the one wearing a T-shirt written Nike there. Come here, kom hierso, you do not know what I have for you ... I have got nice things for you, come,” he beckoned.

When the young woman got on to the stage, Mabuza gave her an ANC doek, before the deputy president went on to condemn teenage pregnancy while the shy teenager was standing next to him.

“Nomcebo [not her real name] is 17 and she is pregnant. I do not think Nomcebo is ready to be a mother, she is still a child,” said Mabuza.

“There are friends of Nomcebo here who have got children at the age of 15, 16 and 17. No, no, I am saying no! Nomcebo should be at school and in fact I want to take Nomcebo back to school.

“We are going to take your numbers and we are going to give you a uniform and as soon as you give birth, you are going to take the child to your mother and you will go back to school,” he said.

Mabuza pledged to the people of Plangeni that their community would be formalised by no later than March 2020.

And this, said Mabuza, would happen through the building of the first brick house in the informal settlement on March 1.

This would be followed by basic services such as running water and electricity, he added.

“We heard about your plight and suffering, you people of Plangeni. We were told about you and we decided we are going to come see you,” he said. “You are people who have been settled here from all walks of Upington in the farms. The decision that we have taken is that we are going to formalise this area into a township.

“By the end of March, this area will be a township and we will be starting by building the first house here. I will be here with you to celebrate the building of the first house which will be the proclamation of this area to be a township.”