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Wednesday, 11 July 2018 09:52

EThekwini Municipality launches community programme for a drug-free City

A GROUND-BREAKING R1 million community programme aimed at assisting drug addicts from Mpumalanga Township was launched by eThekwini Municipality on 21 June.

In partnership with civil society and business, the City took a bold stand against drug abuse which is ravaging the youth of the township by launching the pilot project.

This was in response to the realisation that crime, which has the community under siege, is as a result of substance abuse. EThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede pledged R1 million towards the initiative to ensure its success.

Mayor Gumede said she envisages a pilot project where addicts are not viewed as criminals but victims of economic and social consequences. She said that is why the Municipality has embarked on a number of activities targeting the youth. This includes ‘Sports Against Drug Programmes’ run during school holidays to keep young people busy while also educating them about drug abuse.

“It is important to note that drug abuse is a characteristic of poverty and therefore our health and economic policies must be designed to address this. Our youth need to be hopeful of a financially-secure future and addicts should know it is never too late to rebuild their lives,” said Mayor Gumede.

The programme launched in Mpumalanga will be undertaken by social work interns who will assess clients and refer them to rehab centres according to their individual needs. Group sessions will take place every day to educate recovering drug addicts about good morals while encouraging them to re-shape their lives.

The eThekwini Municipal Academy will assist by profiling clients to better understand what skills they have while also identifying skills development programmes for unskilled addicts.

Councillor Nkosiphendule Dlamini said the Municipality is committed to fighting crime and ensuring a safe and drug-free City.

“Drug abuse is hindering social development and tearing our community apart, therefore we will be focusing our efforts on eradicating drug peddlers,” said Councillor Dlamini.

The launch was well attended by a number of local youth who demonstrated their commitment to take a stand against drugs.

Zwanga Dlamini testified of the adverse effects of drug abuse. “I have seriously hurt the community and my family because of my behaviour. I really appreciate this initiative by the Municipality as it will go a long way to reduce crime and drug abuse in the area.”

Darul Ihsan Media Desk

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