A recent Omo advertisement flighted for Father’s Day implied that 57% of kids in South Africa grow up in homes with absent fathers. This was based on outdated statistics, and more recent research done in 2017 by SA Stats shows that the actually percentage is surprisingly even higher with over 60% of fathers being absent.
A resident of a household is classified as individuals who spend more than four nights a week on average, over four weeks, at a residence. A child is considered anyone under the age of 18. With these classifications in mind, in 2017 the biological father of roughly 61.8% of children were absent from households, this is similar to the 2016 figure which shows that 62.2% of biological fathers were not present in their children’s lives. This includes fathers who have passed away over these years.
New statistics on South Africa’s first ‘State of Fathers’ report are expected to be released on 12 July 2018. These will include policy proposals for increasing men’s involvement in childcare.
Childcare has been identified as one of the huge areas in need of improvement and upliftment in South Africa, along with education, sanitation, housing and healthcare.
According to the Early Childhood Developement report by Stats SA, majority of households in traditional and untraditional areas had a disproportionately large burden of care for young children by grandparents and other family members. A big percentage of children are growing up in home environments that do not provide communication or play to stimulate learning.