In a bid to purge the streets of SA of young drug addicts, Gauteng social development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza is making plans to take a plea to the courts to enforce rehabilitation programmes for young people who take drugs in the streets.
The fact that it is now common that drugs are being taken openly on the streets of Johannesburg motivated Mayathula-Khoza’s office to launch its programme to fight drug abuse in the province.
To achieve this, the social development MEC plans to use court orders to take these young drug addicts off the streets while tracking their parents.
“We will use court orders permitting the government to take care of these children.
“We will use legal instruments to intervene and ensure that these children are looked after and placed into care. That process will run parallel with tracking down their parents,” the MEC’s spokesman, Mbangwa Xaba, said, adding that while the pictures released by Sunday Times shocked the nation, the “situation was not hopeless”.
Presently, Gauteng boasts of 32 rehabilitation centres taking care of more than 8000 cases. Also, some additional two centres are being built in Soweto and Sebokeng, each equipped with 150 beds.
Xaba said the approach will involve the services of different spheres of government.
“We will now take a Gauteng city region approach, which will involve local government and law-enforcement agencies with SAPS and emigration officers working together.
“We will aim to achieve two critical objectives. The first will be to cut the supply and demand of drugs, while the City of Johannesburg addresses the issue of dilapidated buildings.”
Some of these dilapidated buildings serve as production ground for these drugs.
“Law-enforcement officials will have to deal with the supply of drugs,” Xaba added.