Gauteng government failing youth as more lives are lost to Bluetooth

A young man has died from a Bluetooth overdose in GaRankuwa in Tshwane, shortly after having been released from prison. As we approach the 16th of June, it is especially sad to see that drug abuse and related criminal activity continue to claim the lives of young people.

In my capacity as Leader of the Opposition in the Provincial Legislature, I will ask the MEC for Social Development in Gauteng, Nandi Mayathula-Khoza, whether her department has completed any assessment of the impact and extent of drug abuse on the people of this province. We need to understand how many people are affected, directly and indirectly, by drug abuse.

I will further request that she provide a detailed plan as to how her department will deal with rehabilitating those addicted to substance abuse. It is time that the ANC-run Provincial Government come to the fore will real solutions to this crippling problem.

Drug abuse is a damning social ill and Bluetooth is a particularly disturbing form therefo. Nyope users inject themselves with the blood drawn from another user who has just taken a dose, in order to get high. The health risks are high with the transfer of diseases like HIV/Aids being a particular concern.

The DA-led City of Tshwane has strongly condemned drug abuse and it is taking action. The Mayor has embarked on drug busts in the city, to crack down on drug abuse and related crimes. Drug peddlers have been caught and labs used to manufacture drugs have shut down. To help those who are addicted to substances, the City has recommitted itself to supporting NGO’s who work to rehabilitate those in need. We need the provincial government to step up and deal decisively with drug abuse.

Now more than ever, South Africans need to be focused on saving our country from a worrying trajectory. We need our young people to be capacitated to access jobs and opportunities. We especially need them to become entrepreneurs and job-creators themselves.

It is time for the Gauteng Government to show a commitment to taking real action against drug abuse, they have been dragging their feet for far too long. The DA will continue to do all that in can to fight the scourge of drug abuse and related crimes in Gauteng.