"Pietermaritzburg - In three months, 106 girls under 12 were reported to have been raped in the uMgungundlovu District Municipality. This shocking statistic came to light during a campaign against the phenomenon of "sugar daddies" held in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday. The campaign, organised by the uMgungundlovu District Municipality's (UMDM) health division and Msunduzi Municipality, highlighted the social ills associated with teenage girls dating older men, who have the money to trick the girls into having romantic relationships with them. HIV UMDM health official Sthembile Dlamini said between the ages of 15 to 21, more girls than boys are HIV-positive. Dlamini said when the department realised this, they had to look into the fight against sugar daddies because they contributed to the problem. The campaign was aimed at destroying this vicious circle, said Dlamini.
She said from July to September, 821 girls under 18 gave birth. In the same period, 504 abortionswere performed - the majority on teens. Also in the same period, they recorded 325 rapes in the UMDM area and of those, 106 were rapes of girls under 12. Dlamini said the sugar daddy phenomenon contributes to high rates of HIV/Aids, alcohol and drug use, teenage pregnancy and gender-based violence. "That is why we have to put an end to this catastrophic phenomenon of the sugar daddy syndrome," she said."
Thobani Ngqulunga, The Witness