Most households are run by single mothers, according to a study by Statistics South Africa released on Tuesday.
The numbers revealed that 31% of mothers were recorded as being married, meaning it’s possible the father might be absent in the household or the child’s life. Over 1.1 million births were registered, but 64% had no information on fathers.
According to statistician general, Pali Lehohla, who presented the report in parliament, 886 202 babies were born last year. More than 50% of the women who gave birth were single.
A recent study done by the University of Illinois(UI) found that single mothers earn considerably less than single fathers.
Karen Kramer, a UI assistant professor of family studies said: “Single mothers earn about two-thirds of what single fathers earn. Even when we control for such variables as occupation, numbers of hours worked, education, and social capital, the income gap does not decrease by much. Single mothers are far more likely to live in poverty than single fathers, and they do not catch up over time”.
Single mothers have the stress of raising children alone accompanied by financial stress.
“Divorced single parents tend to be better off financially and are more educated than their never-married counterparts. The most common living arrangement for children after a divorce is for mothers to have custody.”
Kramer added: “Single fathers with custody are more likely to have a cohabiting partner than single mothers, and that partner is probably at least sharing household tasks. Single mothers are more likely to be doing everything on their own”.