International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking Speech

Address by the Premier of the Northern Cape, Ms Sylvia Lucas, on the occasion of the commemoration of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, 26 June 2013 at the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre, Kimberley

Programme Director, Ms C M Chotelo, MEC for Social Development
Honourable Minister of Social Development, Ms Bathabile Dlamini
Deputy Minister of Social Development, Ms M B Ntuli
Executive Mayor of Sol Plaatje Municipality, Ms Agnes Nthlangula
Representatives Faith Based and Civil Society Organisations
Distinguished Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

We are greatly honoured as a province to host the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking which seeks to highlight the dangers of substance abuse and the potential this scourge has to destroy our communities and erode the social fabric of our society. This day also calls on society to act decisively to prevent the rampant increase of these drugs.

Indeed Programme Director, as we mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, we reaffirm our commitment as the Provincial Government of the Northern Cape to step up the fight against all the social ills of society such as drugs, alcohol abuse, gangsterism, HIV/AIDS, poverty and unemployment.

With regard to these challenges Ladies and Gentlemen, the Provincial Government launched a provincial substance abuse strategy to mitigate these challenges through various programmes, and to also disseminate developmental information to empower our youth.

We also invited parents, families, the faith-based community, community based and non-governmental organisations, labour, business and all sectors to join us in this important campaign to ensure a substance abuse-free society.

Therefore, taking all factors into account, we must continue to forge effective partnerships with all sectors of society in mobilising communities behind the vision of a drug-free society and put education and awareness programmes at the centre of their strategies.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the scourge of substance abuse is a real threat to the sustainable livelihoods of communities and has the potential to undermine developmental efforts that are articulated in the Growth and Development Strategy of the Northern Cape, which has as its vision “building a prosperous, sustainable, growing provincial economy to reduce poverty and improve social development”. Substance abuse is the leading cause of crime and contributes to poverty, dysfunctional families and communities, the burden of disease, injury and premature death.

Programme Director, the National Youth Risk Behaviour Survey (2008), found that the Northern had the highest prevalence of learners who used dagga before the age of 13 (9.2%) compared to the Free State (3.2%) and the North West which had the lowest against the national average of 5.2%.

It also had the highest prevalence of learners having used dagga on school property. It also reported that the Northern Cape had the highest prevalence of learners who have used cocaine.

The Northern Cape had the highest prevalence of learners that have used club drugs (12%).
Surprisingly, it is also found that the Northern Cape had the highest prevalence of learners (10.5%) who have used ‘Tik’; the national average is 6.6%.

It is evident, Programme Director, that the problem in the province has reached critical proportions, with studies showing a very high incidence of this scourge and the devastating impact it has on all sectors of society, particularly young people. The substance abuse prevention strategy is the response to a clarion call by the Provincial Government to adopt an integrated and holistic approach, by bringing together all sectors of society, to combat substance abuse and its associated social risks and consequences, in order to build safer and healthier communities and to improve the quality of life of its people.

Furthermore Ladies and Gentlemen, the main aim of the substance abuse prevention strategy in the Northern Cape is to:

  • Use supply reduction measures to curb the production, manufacturing and distribution of drugs, thereby promoting safe and drug free communities
  • To reduce the demand for substances through prevention and early intervention programmes, with a view to discouraging the use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs and promoting healthy lifestyles
  • To reduce the harm associated with substance abuse and to mitigate its health and psychosocial impact by providing holistic treatment services for affected individuals and families

Through this strategy, we seek to intensify efforts to combat alcohol and substance abuse and we have therefore declared an all out war on substance abuse, especially against the drug lords who supply these illegal substances. As the Provincial Government, in partnership with law enforcement agencies and law-abiding citizens, we assure the Northern Cape community that these drug lords and their pushers, will be dealt with within the confines of the law.  They will certainly have no room to hide.

Ladies and Gentlemen, all these efforts are at the heart of building a caring, people centred society and promoting healthy living standards, especially for our youth.

Working together with all the sectors of our society, we will build a collective consensus of zero drug tolerance.

I thank you

Mail Us

Office of the Premier 
Private Bag X5016 
Kimberley 
8301

Leave a Comment