Releasing the Survey of Activities of Young People (SAYP) 2015 Report, Stats SA said of the 11.2 million children aged 7 to 17 years in South Africa, 11.1 million children were attending school, while 179 000 were not attending school in 2015.
“Among those attending school the number of girls (5 505 000) was slightly higher than that of boys (5 501 000),” said Stats SA.
This as the National Development Plan (NDP) targets that by 2030, South Africans should have access to education and training of the highest quality.
In addition, children who stayed with both parents or were staying with their mothers were more likely to attend school, while children who had no parents alive were more likely not to attend school.
The report said the proportion of children not attending school decreased by 0.5% to 1.5% in 2015. The report found that the proportion of those not attending school was highest among those aged 15 to 17 years.
The survey collects data on educational activities, economic activities, non-economic activities and health and safety issues, among others, of individuals aged 7 to 17 years.
According to the survey, the number of children aged between 7 and 17 years increased from 11.1 million in 2010 to 11.2 million in 2015. Most of the children, the report found lived in KwaZulu-Natal followed by Gauteng and the Eastern Cape.
In 2015, the majority of children at 74.8% aged 7 to 17 years had both parents alive, while 7.3% of them had neither of their parents alive.
The survey found that there was a decline in the number of children involved in child labour from 779 000 in 2010 to 577 000 in 2015. In addition, children aged 16 to 17 years were more likely to be involved in child labour than the other age groups. In the same vein, black African children were more likely to be involved in child labour when compared to other population groups.
A total 2.4 million of the 11.2 million children aged 7 to 17 years were engaged in economic activities, with more boys than girls being involved in economic activities. Black children were more likely to be involved in economic activities (which included production for own consumption) compared to other races.
More than 60% of children engaged in economic activity worked for less than 14 hours per week.
Household and school chores
The report showed that in 2015, a total 8.9 million children were involved in household chores with KwaZulu-Natal having the highest proportion of children involved in household chores.
The most chores reported in 2015 were cleaning and sweeping followed by going to the shops.
A total 3.8 million children reported involvement in chores at school with the North West and Free State provinces having the highest proportion in school chores. The least chores were reported in the Western Cape.
Cleaning and maintaining walls and floors at school were reported as the most chores done, while girls reported cleaning and maintaining of walls and floors more than boys.