Gauteng govt committed to rooting out drugs

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Pretoria - The Gauteng Provincial Government says while ground-breaking work is continuing to deal with abuse in Eldorado Park, work through existing programmes was also continuing in other affected areas.

“The perception that government is only addressing the issue of substance abuse in Eldorado Park is not correct. It is the only place where we are rolling out a new plan but other programmes are continuing,” said Head of the Gauteng Department of Social Development Shoki Shabalala on Wednesday.

Premier Nomvula Mokonyane says the experiences in dealing with the social issues in Eldorado Park, have led to an innovative adaptive approach that is going to improve service delivery for all future social challenges facing the province.

“We are currently implementing the Presidential Inter-sectoral Plan in Eldorado Park, which sees the different spheres of government coming together to deal with drugs and related socio economic problems,” said Mokonyane.

This plan sees national and provincial departments such as Social Development, Community Safety in partnership with the South African Police Service, Economic Development, Health, Education, Correctional Services and Justice and Constitutional Development working together to fight the issue of substance abuse.

“This has never been done before; the multi-sectoral approach is being tried and tested in Eldorado Park for the very first time. This is where we will begin to develop a model that can be replicated in other areas,” Mokonyane said.

The plan currently being implemented in Eldorado Park is based on two key strategies which are the Drug Master Plan – aimed at reducing demand, harm and supply and the Gauteng Provincial Anti-Substance Abuse Strategy which focuses more on prevention, early intervention, treatment and after-care and re-integration.

In other areas, the provincial departments of Social Development, Health; the SAPS; Non-Governmental Organisations and Non Profit Organisations across the province are continuing with existing programmes. These programmes include door-to-door campaigns; drug and alcohol awareness workshops; school searches; men as safety promoters programmes as well as crime prevention initiatives. Drug abuse issues also form part of the curriculum, specifically within the life orientation learning area.

These initiatives are also supported by more than 33 in-patient and out-patient drug treatment centers owned and managed by Non-profit Organisations (NPOs), funded by Gauteng government, including the only state-owned drug treatment centre - Dr Florence and Fabian Ribeiro Treatment Centre, which accommodates 200 males and 40 females and 45 children under the age of 18.

It is also worth noting that plans are underway to set up a new in-patient treatment centre in Sterkfontein with a capacity of 40 beds.

There are 35 Local Drug Action Committees (LDACs) working throughout the province and they are coordinated by the provincial drug action committee.

An LDAC is made up of bodies and people from all sectors involved in substance abuse and related problems in a municipality. This would include representatives from the department of justice, police, probation and correctional services, schools, health, social development and other community structures.

These committees maintain integrated drug policies in collaboration with all stakeholders in order to prevent drug-related crime and ensure a good quality of life for residents at the community level.

Other communities which have reported high drug use are Ennerdale; Westbury; Olievenhoutbosch and Yeoville.

The province is continuing to spread the word in the fight against drug abuse among the youth. Yesterday Mokonyane visited Ennerdale as part of her campaign to find solutions in dealing with the drug abuse. –


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