Fixing broken lives: creating jobs to fight drugs

 

Note to editors: The following is an extract from a speech delivered by the Democratic Alliance’s Johannesburg Mayoral Candidate, Herman Mashaba, during a march against drugs and crime in Bosmont, Johannesburg. Mashaba was joined by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane MP, DA Gauteng Provincial Leader, John Moodey MPL, DA Johannesburg Regional Chairperson, Khume Ramulifho MPL, Gauteng Shadow MEC for Safety & Security, Kate Lorimer MPL, and DA Political Head for Roodepoort, Anchen Dreyer MP.

Today, we march against the scourge of drugs that plagues our City.

We march for the lives lost to the evil of drugs.

We march for the broken families, torn communities and the brokenhearted.

I have seen the spark die in too many young people’s eyes, and it is time to reignite their hopes.

As a parent, I have had enough of how drugs are destroying the lives of many of our young people.

Too often, their schools are the street corners and their educators are the drug lords.

When elected on 3 August, we will act immediately.

We will launch targeted campaigns to help those with substance abuse.

There will be 24-hour drug helplines and treatment for addiction at dedicated centres.

We will replicate what the DA-led City of Cape Town has done, helping thousands with its helpline and Matrix treatments sites.

On average, 24 000 people in Cape Town use the helpline each year.

We cannot shut out the problem by ignoring it – we need to decisively tackle it head-on.

We will create specialised units within the Metro Police to tackle drugs and gangs across the city, as is done in the DA-governed Cape Town.

I will establish a permanent ‘Don’t start, be smart’ campaign. Like in Cape Town, this campaign will drive out the stigma and silence surrounding drugs and alcohol abuse.

We are in this together. We can only beat this scourge together.

Many families have a member living with a drug and alcohol problem. We are all affected. We all have a drug problem.

We will also communicate real stories from users who have travelled the hard road from addiction to recovery.

Like in Cape Town, we will use murals and other arts across the city to tell their stories, and show others how they have found help.

To reach as many residents as possible, the campaign will use radio, print media and bus shelters.

We will also establish a dedicated 24-line for members of the community to report drug lords and dens.

There will be no safe haven for drug lords under a DA government in Johannesburg.

The drug criminals will be evicted if they live in City owned properties, and face the full wrath of the law.

The community must play an active role. Because the courts are very reliant upon the evidence gathered for City evictions from city-rental properties.

We must be vigilant. We must be strong.

Next, we need to provide proper social support structures to those caught in the vicious cycle of drug abuse.

We need to fill the gap that is often left between the state and the family.

With the first combined drug abuse treatment facility in Johannesburg only due to be completed in 2018, we cannot rely on the ANC government for support.

We must develop smaller, community-run structures that can react comprehensively to patients.

As Mayor, I will work closely with the private sector to seek sponsorship and support for these facilities.

But we cannot ignore a profound truth that lies beneath the surface.

More than any other problem, the drugs epidemic is representative of our city’s deep social divide.

In our vibrant melting pot of different races, cultures and languages, we still know little about each other.

We still remain divided by the circumstances of our birth, the healthcare we receive, the schools our children go to.

A taxi ride between Bosmont and the suburbs of Randburg should not be a journey between two different worlds.

But it still feels like that.

The truth is that Johannesburg is caught in a terrible situation. There are 869 000 unemployed people in this city. 66 000 of whom were added to the ranks of the unemployed in the first quarter of 2016.

Unemployment is increasing the epidemic of drug abuse and alcoholic addiction.

Time and time again, I have seen how the Nyaope pandemic is driven by a sense of despair for those struggling to find work. Drugs hollow out lives, materially and spiritually.

While I realise that drug abuse cannot be reduced to a single factor, unemployment is a significant contributor.

Through job creation and the proactive anti-drug strategies I have outlined, the DA will help Johannesburg’s residents to realise their full potential.

A report recently stated that “youths in Africa’s most developed economy suffer from an unemployment rate hovering around 50%, among the highest in the world, and the situation has deteriorated in the last five years.”

The same report stated that “the lack of jobs and Nyaope’s easy availability have combined to devastating effect in poor communities.”

We know that Parks Tau is in denial of the scale of the problem.

When drug lords move into a community, shops, small businesses, training enterprises, and youth projects move out.

The link between the lack of jobs and drug abuse is staggering.

While unemployment in Johannesburg has risen to over 30%, drug abuse cases in Bosmont rose from 95 in 2005 to 1515 in 2015 – a 1600% increase. More than 692 houses experienced burglaries in the same year.

However, in the more affluent suburbs of Randburg which have a lower rate of unemployment, drug abuse cases rose slowly from 75 in 2005 to 114 in 2015.

In far too many communities drug lords are taking over, while the City Council and JMPD sit back and wait for residents to protest.

Finally, we need to create the right environment for the creation of real job opportunities.

This can be achieved through a clean, streamlined city administration that meets the needs of investors, actively partners with SMMEs and budding entrepreneurs, and delivers services as promised to all residents and businesses.

There is a concrete link between unemployment and drug abuse, and the only solution for Johannesburg is a DA administration that will create jobs.

We can only do this by changing the government on August 03.

Combatting substance abuse is not a task that government can take on alone. We need a whole of society approach: the parents, the schools, the police and the communities need to work with us to take back our communities from drug dealers and help our children.

It is only by working together that we can end the drug epidemic.

[IMAGE SOURCE]

Eldorado Park Drug Bust: A First Step To Address Drugs Crisis

Drugs and Drug Abuse in Eldorado Park

The DA welcomes the arrest of 34 people on drug related charges in Eldorado Park, as a first step to beginning to address the massive scourge of drugs in the City of Johannesburg.

Drugs and drug abuse have been a massive burden on the people of Eldorado Park, and over the years, the DA has consistently taken up the fight against this scourge on our society going so far as detailing known drug dens to the Metro Police and SAPS.

Yesterday’s arrests are only the beginning of what must be an all-out campaign to save our communities from a drugs crisis.

The most effective way to rid communities of drugs and drug abuse is through cooperation between communities and law enforcement, and job creation that keeps people out of drugs and crime.

Safe Streets Initiative

The DA will continue to mobilise communities to identify drug dens, drug dealers and so-called “lolly lounges” and give this information to the police.

In government in Johannesburg, after this year’s election, the DA will work to create jobs that keep people out of drugs and crime, roll out programmes tried and tested in the Western Cape to combat drugs, as well as our own Safe Streets Initiative.

This will include awareness campaigns in schools and targeted neighbourhoods, social safety programmes for street children, as well as increased visible policing and regular raids.

The DA is committed to winning the war on drugs, and stand ready to bring safe streets and neighbourhoods to Johannesburg.

Job creation is surely the best tool to effectively eradicate the scourge of drugs, and job creation will be the DA’s most focussed priority when we govern Johannesburg.

 

Media enquiries

Willie Venter

Director: Communications and Research

060 963 8260

[Image source]

Drug dealers openly trade in Boksburg as SAPS fails to act

I recently witnessed two drug transactions taking place within one hour in North Rand Road, Boksburg. This transaction did not take place in secret, but in the open on a Sunday morning. Both transactions took place in the exact same manner – the buyers parked their vehicles in the sleeve next to Medicross where they met the drug dealer and exchanged the money for drugs through the front window in a matter of seconds.

However, this is not a new occurrence in North Rand Road. I have reported this spot to the Ekurhuleni Metro Police and Boksburg North SAPS on numerous occasions over a number of years.

Last year May, DA Boksburg Constituency Head Janet Semple MPL and I led an anti-drug march to the Boksburg North SAPS. We presented a memorandum to Boksburg North SAPS spokesperson Lieutenant Juanita Coetzer outlining our proposals to fight drugs in the area.

However, by September 2015 it was revealed in a written response from Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane that the Boksburg North SAPS claims to have never received our memorandum (we have the photo and news coverage to prove otherwise). It was further revealed that the police station has failed to conduct any operations focused on combating drug abuse and trafficking since we presented our memorandum to the station between.

It is clear that another four months later, nothing is being done.

The fact that drug dealers in Boksburg feel comfortable enough to openly conduct their transactions indicates the lack of visible policing and failure by the Boksburg SAPS to fight drugs and trafficking in the area.

The SAPS is mandated to prevent and combat crime in communities. The Boksburg North Police Station’s failure to conduct any drug operations or to act on our memorandum shows that they don’t care about the safety and wellbeing of residents in the area.

The failure of the Boksburg North SAPS and Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department also extends to a failure by national government to reinstate specialised drugs units. I have corresponded with MEC Nkosi-Malobane on numerous occasions requesting her intervention in this matter. Unfortunately she continuously responds by saying she is in the process of taking up this matter with national Minister of Police Nkosinathi Nhleko – which has resulted in nothing being done to date.

I will be writing to MEC Nkosi-Malobane and request a report on how many operations the Boksburg North SAPS has done since receiving our memorandum, how many arrests have been made and how many led to convictions.

We need dedicated and well-resourced specialised units that can investigate and secure convictions of drug dealers to ensure they are taken off our streets. This is the only way we will tackle the scourge of drugs plaguing our communities.

Media enquiries:

Michele Clarke MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Community Safety

060 558 8309

[IMAGE SOURCE]

DA Marches Against Drug Abuse in Daveyton

On Saturday, 28th of March 2015, the Democratic Alliance staged a protest march against the rising incidents of drug abuse and associated criminality in Daveyton.

DA activists marching against drug abuse

Over 300 DA members and supporters marched several kilometers from to the Daveyton Police Station to hand over a memorandum to the South African Police Service, demanding ‎that the Narcotics Bureau be reinstated to deal with drugs and crime intelligence around drugs, as well as more frequent raids of drug dens and visible policing around schools to keep drug dealers away.

The march was a peaceful occurred without incident, and was pre-approved with SAPS along an agreed route, as the DA is a party of the rule of law and supports the rule of law.

The DA will continue to demand that specialised policing units be reinstated to deal with specific crimes and will be pursing the issue through the various councils, legislatures and parliament.

The DA in Daveyton will be running a month long campaign on drug abuse with the community.

 

Media Enquiries

Ashor Sarupen MPL

DA Constituency Head – Springs / Daveyton

076 334 5147

 

Two Year Delay of Gauteng Drug Master Plan Hurts Communities

Gauteng Drugs Master Plan

Gauteng Community Safety MEC, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane this week announced that the Gauteng Drug Master Plan will only be implemented in Gauteng September 2015, despite that the national plan had been approved and adopted in 2013.Michele Clarke DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education

The fact is that the Community Safety Department is dragging its feet to implement a plan approved and formalised on a national level two years, only increases the risk to Gauteng families. The delayed process is disheartening and undermines the people of Gauteng.

Crime Related Drugs

According to CrimeStatsSA’s drug related crime figures, Gauteng precincts reported 59 317 cases of drug related crimes and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol in 2013 ; and 98 977 in 2014 – a 40 % increase. The ever increasing figures in the last two years are evident that a concerted effort in the war against drugs and drug abuse is urgently needed.

Specialized Drug Units

The announcement by MEC Nkosi-Malobane of having started negotiations around re- introducing specialized units within the province with the Police Minister Nathi Nhleko as well as National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega is much welcomed.

We will continue to put pressure on MEC Nkosi-Malobane to get these units re-introduced and hold her accountable to her promises.

 

Media Enquiries:

Michele Clarke MPL

DA Spokesperson on Community Safety

060 558 8309

[Image source]