TACKLING DRUG, GANGSTERISM SCOURGE IN SOUTH AFRICA NEEDS MULTI-SECTORAL APPROACH

South African Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini has told the National Assembly that a multi-sectoral approach is required to tackle the scourge of drugs and gangsterism in communities.

Fielding questions at Parliament here Wednesday, she said: “Drugs and gangs are the twin challenges confronting many of our communities throughout the country. You will agree with me that to successfully tackle these challenges, our interventions must start with our most basic unit in our community, the family.

“Aside from the family, there should also be initiatives from schools and the community as a whole because everyone should be involved in the fight against substance abuse and gangsterism. It should be community-driven initiatives more particularly because the issues of drugs are structural. Sometimes they thrive where there is poverty.”

She said her department had developed an anti-gansterism strategy, including facilities which cater for children in conflict with the law. The strategy is built on four pillars — human development, social partnership, spatial design and the criminal justice process.

“The overriding pillar of the strategy is a multi-partnership approach aimed at creating safe living spaces within communities. For this reason, we are encouraging municipalities to establish and implement local drug action committees and such structures, empower communities to respond through various initiatives such as “ke moja” (I am fine without drugs),” she added.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK