President Jacob Zuma has called for a stronger bond between South Africans and the need for the youths to show respect to their elders and stop drugs.
The president, who was being interviewed by Ukhozi FM on Sunday morning, spoke on the rising rate of drug intake by the country’s citizens especially among the youths and how it has affected the peace of the country.
He therefore appealed to all young people and children to refrain from using drugs and abusing alcohol. The president also called on the youths to be molded and tended to and that the teachings of parents were important in creating responsible citizens.
“The abuse of drugs is threatening to destroy many families. Some parents live in fear of their children who terrorize them and neighbors, due to the abuse of nyaope, whoonga, cocaine, heroin and other drugs. We appeal to our youth to say NO to drugs.
Those who are already addicted should seek treatment. Government is building treatment centers in every province, to make treatment accessible,’’ said President Zuma
Report has it that 7,5% and 31 percent of South Africans have an alcohol problem or are at risk. On drugs, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime report of 2014 indicated that more than 270 000 South African citizens were defined as problem drug users.
President Zuma told the listeners about his early days when he had to herd his grandfather’s cattle while yearning for education. He said he was so good herding cattle that his family forgot that he was supposed to start school.
He said he devised a plan, he convinced a cousin of his who is in Standard 4 (Grade 6) to teach him to read.
“I used to be so curious when schoolchildren came back holding their ‘slates’ and ask them what was written on it. At that time, I couldn’t read at all,” he told listeners as he took turn to encourage parents and communities not to look away from the doings of their children.
“We urge parents and communities to encourage more drug users to seek help. We also welcome and support the campaign by the Congress of South African Students (COSAS) against alcohol abuse and the wearing of school uniforms in taverns, said the President.
“Local authorities should not grant liquor licenses to outlets that sell liquor to school children, or who operate near schools who want to target targeting schoolchildren as customers.
President Zuma further called on communities to report drug lords and drug peddlers to authorities so that they can be stopped from destroying youths and children. He said to stop drugs has become a very vital part of his job as the president and he needs the help of the youth to do that.