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‘Leave our children alone’: KZN health MEC takes aim at sugar daddies

MEC for health in KwaZulu-Natal Nomagugu Simelane says in churches, in government and communities, there must be a fight against old people dating children. File photo.
MEC for health in KwaZulu-Natal Nomagugu Simelane says in churches, in government and communities, there must be a fight against old people dating children. File photo.
Image: KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health

KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Nomagugu Simelane has called for “sugar daddies” to leave young girls alone. 

The call comes as the province battles with issues facing young people, including teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV. 

Simelane said recent statistics showed more than 1,000 girls in the country were infected with HIV every week and KwaZulu-Natal registered 18,550 births to young mothers aged 10 to 17 during the 2019-2020 financial year alone.

She slammed “old sugar daddies” who lure teen girls in exchange for material things.

“How does a 40-year-old look at a 16-year-old and think, ‘Yho! She’s hot’? Where are his age mates? Why is he not looking at them? They don’t do that because they know their age mates won’t take nonsense,” she said. 

“They know it’s easy for the children to be submissive because the relationship is uneven. It’s not just a problem for girls. Sugar daddies must leave our children alone. Leave our children alone so they can grow up.”

Simelane said there was nothing wrong with a 20-year-old “growing up” with another 20-year-old because they grow up and develop together.

She called on parents and church leaders to step up and investigate sugar daddies preying on young girls in the province. 

“Church leaders should ask serious questions about why sugar daddies are confusing young girls. The challenge of teen pregnancy should be what the church, community and leaders face together. In churches, governments and communities, there must be a fight against old people dating young children,” she said. 

Simelane said young girls were the ones who bear the burnt and were often expelled from home, but sugar daddies are not dealt with.

She emphasised the protection of young girls from sexual harassment and focused on boys, who she said often ignored contraceptive methods.

“We need to change that because teenage and unplanned pregnancy is a problem society must address and deal with.”


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