While it’s often said and still being said that Africa’s population is increasing the truth is that many South Africans don’t want to have children because they don’t have time nor money. Is this the only country where there is a decrease in childbirths year by year? Let’s look at all the reason why people don’t want to have children and why? Additionally, almost half of South Africa’s children are growing up without their fathers. Take a look at this article.
Here I am in South Africa after I have been away for eighteen years. I did come and go within that time on vacations but never lived in South Africa for more than six months in those eighteen years. Here I am again, and this time as a Gen X I am looking at other Gen Xs who are married, but you know what, most of them don’t have kids. I began to ask why.
So, let’s ask one person why she doesn’t have kids?
Answer – anonymous
“Well, I don’t know, it’s not intentional, but there was one thing I wondered while growing up in South Africa to my first two and a half years abroad. If it’s this hard for me, then why would I want to put a child through this? Is this place safe if she is a girl? Do I want him/her to grow up in a country with this much racism, violence, and unemployment? Did you know that even the native South Africans have racism amongst the tribes? You don’t even know whether you will have a job to sustain yourself tomorrow or if you will end up struggling just to put the basics on the table? Perhaps if I were living abroad, the answer to this question would be different.”
Answer – T. Dench Patel
This was me a couple of years ago, “If there are so many children without parents in this world or parents that really love children and want to have them but can’t provide the basics or for some other reasons beyond my comprehension then why should I add one more child to this world? If it happens, it happens.
Okay, let’s say that I do have control over the whole thing and what if I was god/universe (of course there will be a lot of disruption. I don’t think I can do a great job as god/universe.) Okay, then I’d say there are plenty of children who don’t even get a chance in this world… Will I adopt them or not? I guess I’m god/universe, so I would 😉. Being currently me, I am a sponsor to underprivileged kids’ education, not that many as I am trying to build my charity Krupa International Projects to make a difference. Being me, I don’t know if I will end up adopting or not, but I will certainly assist in making provisions and helping with solutions if I have the resources, but still what about those who do want children but are put off by so many negative factors?”
So, here are two answers from Gen Xs, let’s look at what’s really going down in South Africa and USA.
Looking at the Data courtesy of Morning Consult for New York Times. Take a look at the link below for the statistics to why adults have fewer children than they’d like.
This survey was done nationally and is a representative sample of 1858 men and women between the ages of 20 – 45.
64% said childcare was too expensive.
54% said they want more time with the children they currently have.
49% said they are worried about the economy.
44% said they couldn’t afford more children.
43% said they’ve waited because of financial instability
And in additional take a look at this article.
Here is an additional research http://www.statssa.gov.za/?p=12324
But does this also have something to do with settling down later in life?
According to the article on the link below, more and more people are settling down later in life and taking their time to get to know someone properly. This is especially evident with millennials. While some would argue that the combination of building a strong foundation; financially and getting to know someone properly are the reasons behind settling down later in life or even having children.
This article was particularly interesting when it comes to South Africa.
In this time spent in South African as a travelled, educated woman, I am hearing an awful lot of people saying, “It is hard as a couple just on our own so can you imagine what life the child will have?”
Look, it shocks me that more than 600 000 kids with disabilities in South Africa have never been to school. Take a look at this article https://mg.co.za/article/2018-11-30-00-no-school-for-600000-children
In countries where there are jobs and where people can get a few basics with a pound or less, are countries where the chances are high for people to focus on what they really want in their personal lives and still work towards greater fulfilment. You can just get on with it without thinking about so many fundamental things that block you from getting to the next fundamental step.
Another reason which is probably a risk everywhere in the world but in countries like South Africa is the medical care. The public sector is so stretched that people feel insecure and have to seek an alternative method. The average pay a South African gets plus the cost of living does not equate. Families are often left with little or even nothing by the end of the month.
Feel free to comment it would be great to hear your thoughts on this topic or what hasn’t been covered in this article.
T. Dench Patel