Picture: 123RF/ HONGQI ZHANG
Picture: 123RF/ HONGQI ZHANG

Daryl Swanepoel’s article (“Economic recovery hinges on slowing SA’s population growth rate”, January 31) was a realistic and sober reminder of two irrefutable facts: SA and its whole population can gain enormously by responsible family planning, and it should receive far higher priority than it now receives.

Efficient family planning is relatively cheap and can all be done on a voluntary basis without the need for any social engineering. The “cultural and religious hurdles” referred to in changing population reproductive behaviour should not be a major issue. Perhaps the time has in any case also arrived that decisions must be taken between the lesser of the two evils in this regard.

Step one of such a renewed effort would be to know what exactly is going on in the field of family planning. What entities are responsible for what services in the public sector, how is it funded, what results have been achieved, are there any plans to improve the outcomes, what role do public benefit organisations and the private sector play? Unfortunately, an internet search does not throw much light on these questions.

I hope the Inclusive Society Institute’s soon-to-be released report will provide some answers. Otherwise other entities or people must be encouraged and paid to provide more information.

Edwin Hertzog

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