More money for war on drugs in Pta

Photo: stockimage

 

Tshwane metro has allocated R40 million in the 2017/18 financial year to step up the fight against drugs.

MMC for community safety Derrick Kissoonduth said the war on substance abuse and related crimes in the metro was an ongoing campaign since it took office in August 2016.

The R40 millions formed part of the metro police department allocation of R2 billion.

Mayor Solly Msimanga said drugs increased the rate of social ills including drug-related crimes.

He said the scourge kept users away from productivity and drove them to criminal activities.

“We are duty-bound to get lawless persons off our streets. It is therefore critical that we do not just pay lip service but do the actual work and arrest the peddlers,” said the mayor.

“It is noteworthy to also indicate that we do not only exercise the might of the law but we also actively undertake workshops and awareness campaigns to teach our communities on how to deal with this phenomenon as drugs affect us all whether directly or indirectly, further the manufacturers, dealers and users live in our communities.”

ALSO READ: Drug dealers arrested for selling drugs to police officers

He said the metro allocated R40 million in the 2017/18 financial year to introduce measures detailed in the substance abuse strategy within its area of jurisdiction.

Msimanga said the metro held a drug and substance abuse stakeholder consultative workshop with representatives from the academics, NGOs and the government.

The objective was to find ways to counter the supply of and harm caused by the abuse of drugs and other substances.

The workshop also discussed means of fighting drug trafficking and related crimes.

Workshop resolutions include:

– There would be a community based rehabilitation programme in partnership with the University of Pretoria – rehabilitated users will be up-skilled and placed in job opportunities to prevent them from relapsing.

– The metro’s communication and marketing unit will support the department of health to champion an education and awareness programme.

– The metro will support and ensure functionality of the local drug action committees in line with the national drug master plan.

– Launching a helpline to assist with support and counselling to users and affected families as well as referrals where intervention is required.

– The metro will continue to partner with and support the community based organisations involved in the fight against drugs.

– More stringent monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to be put in place to ensure that public resources are used for what they are intended.

– The metro is looking to pilot a smart city concept including face detecting cameras in the future.

– Other plans include identifying buildings owned by the state that can be renovated and used as the rehabilitation centres and to equip local clinics to deal with drug and substance users.

ALSO READ: Tshwane partners with UP to tackle drugs abuse

Kissoonduth said the budget would help the metro police and law enforcement to increase visible policing in strategic areas and improve the ability to respond to a variety of challenges.

Members of the community are urged to report drug trades in their homes and neighbourhoods at 012-358-7095/6 [24 hours a day].

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  AUTHOR
Robinson Nqola
Journalist

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