Social Development Deputy Minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu has called on rehabilitation centres to offer support for the children left behind while parents are recovering from substance abuse addiction.
Bogopane-Zulu made the call during the official hand over of a multimedia centre at the Life Recovery Centre in Randfontein, Johannesburg on Tuesday.
Funded by the Gauteng Department of Social Development to the tune of R56 million, the centre renders holistic treatment interventions to service users and their families to mitigate the social, psychological and health impact of substance abuse. The centre currently has 306 beneficiaries under the in-patient treatment and 44 in the halfway house programme.
The multicentre empowers patients, who are currently undergoing substance use disorder treatment, with accredited computer training to arm them with job-related skills.
Speaking to the stakeholders, the Deputy Minister expressed her appreciation to the staff for the services they render. She advised them to offer more support for the children of recovering addicts.
“As the halfway house grows, how do we make sure that the children of our recovering addicts don’t find themselves experiencing the harshness of life, while we try to assist the parents?” she questioned, saying that it should be part of the admissions process to ask who is at home to look after the children.
“Besides the reunification, how do we as Social Development support those left behind because that also delays the recovery of our addicts. While they are here they miss their kids and they don’t know where their kids are, and that has an impact on their recovery rate.”
She said social workers should visit the homes of patients and ensure the children are being looked after so that patients can focus on getting better and the department can focus on providing its services.
The Deputy Minister said the multimedia centre will give addicts an opportunity to understand their lives better, understand their responsibilities, and give them access to the internet so they can tell their stories about their journey towards recovery.
The MTN Foundation has invested a total of R750 000 towards the renovation of a library and the building of the 22-seater multimedia centre.
The multimedia centre has an interactive white board, printer, teacher station and internet connectivity. The foundation will also provide 20 Gigabytes every month for the next 24 months for internet connectivity.
MTN Foundation General Manager Kusile Mtunzi-Hairwadzi said while the addicts receive treatment and counselling at the centre, they can also get computer skills which will assist in getting them employment.
A recovering addict from Orange Farm, Tshepo Seame, 32, thanked the department and the MTN Foundation for preparing them for the outside world.
“We will use google and post our CVs, and in that way, we will become active productive members of society rather than previously when we were in active addiction and on the bad side of things,” Seame said.
Seame urged other addicts to make use of the rehabilitation centres, saying that the services offered are very helpful.
“There is life and hope in recovery, please check yourselves in rehab centres. Take it easy and one day at a time,” Seame said.
On 26 June, the globe will be commemorating International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, under the theme ‘Health for justice, justice for health’. – SAnews.gov.za