South African women are having fewer children, the SA Institute
of Race Relations (SAIRR) said. According to its latest South Africa Survey, there were an average of 2.7 live births per 1 000 women between 2001 and 2006 and this was projected to decline to 2.4 between 2008 and 2011.
Along with fewer births, there had also been an increase in the
number of deaths from HIV/Aids. Almost half of all deaths in 2008
were HIV/Aids related, an increase from a third of all deaths in
This followed an increase in the HIV-positive population, from
nine% in 2001 to 12% in 2008. "The survey shows that in SA the spread of HIV/Aids as well as lower fertility rates has led to a declining population growth
rate," SAIRR researcher Gail Eddy said.
Between 2007 and 2008, the country's population grew at a rate
of 0.8%. "This is compared to a higher population growth rate of 1.5
percent between 2001 and 2002. The 43% reduction in the population growth rate over seven years highlights the extent to which the HIV/Aids pandemic is
affecting the SA population." – (Sapa, November 2009)