According to a recent Pondering Panda survey 95% of youth between 13 – 34 regard drugs in South Africa as a problem, with almost 90% indicating that this is becoming worse. It is even more shocking that 73% claimed to know a drug user, while two-thirds of those aged 13 – 14 said they knew someone who used drugs.
Gauteng Social Development and Community Safety MECs must outline their battle plan to address the scourge of drug abuse in Gauteng, especially given the findings that it occurs in such close proximity to the children of the province.
The recent crime statistics indicated that drug-related crimes in Gauteng skyrocketed from just under 16 500 to almost 26 000 last year.
We are yet to see the impact of the so-called integrated provincial anti-substance abuse strategy of the Gauteng Social Development Department. MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza last year indicated that this has been developed to provide for holistic, developmental, appropriate and integrated programmes of prevention, treatment, and re-integration as well as after care services for persons with substance abuse problems.
The DA in Gauteng agrees with the two-thirds of young South Africans who indicated that the police need to do more to stop the sale and use of illegal drugs.
The Gauteng provincial government must demonstrate its commitment to combating drug abuse and drug-related crimes by showing it takes the concerns of the youth seriously in this regard.
We cannot allow drug and substance abuse to ruin the lives of young South Africans across the province. We must act decisively to stop this scourge from tearing families and communities across Gauteng apart.
Hendrika Kruger MPL
DA Gauteng Social Development Spokesperson