Tsh­wane in­ten­si­fies war on drugs

Co­sup, which re­cently part­nered with the city, aims to res­cue sub­stance users from drug de­pen­dency

The New Age (Free State) - - GAUTENG NEWS - KUTULLO MADISHA ku­tul­lom@the­newage.co.za

THE city of Tsh­wane and the Univer­sity of Pre­to­ria have joined hands to fight in the con­tin­u­ous war against drug and sub­stance abuse in the metro.

The Com­mu­nity Ori­en­tated Sub stance Use Pro­gramme (Co­sup) seeks to en­gage with peo­ple who use drugs in the com­mu­nity, ide­ally be­fore their use of drugs be­comes a se­ri­ous prob­lem.

As part of the sub­stance use in­ter­ven­tion, they em­barked on a tour yes­ter­day to ex­pose the real world of drug abuse in the city.

It started at Melchisedek and Marabas­tad.

DA leader John Moodey said so far, more than 2300 peo­ple had en­rolled in Co­sup, while 12 000 others had ben­e­fited from in­ten­sive in­ter­ven­tions.

A fur­ther 40000 had been reached through aware­ness and outreach cam­paigns and 92 re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing sub­stance users were be­ing pro­vided with skills train­ing.

Co­sup, which re­cently part­nered with the city, aims to help Tsh­wane res­i­dents through dif­fer­ent sites that are be­ing set up in a bid to res­cue sub­stance users from drug de­pen­dency.

Moodey said the fight against drugs could not be won overnight but work was un­der way to en­sure that as many af­fected peo­ple as pos­si­ble were as­sisted.

“The city aims to help re­ha­bil­i­tated drug users get jobs in or­der to rein­te­grate them back into our com­mu­ni­ties,” Moodey said.

Moodey said R40m had been al­lo­cated to­wards sup­port­ing NGOs to as­sist those who were af­fected by drug and sub­stance abuse.

Lo­cal drug ac­tion com­mit­tees and a care bud­dies pro­gramme have been es­tab­lished to al­low good Sa­mar­i­tans to en­gage with sub­stance users in such a way that they would be re­ha­bil­i­tated and rein­te­grated into the com­mu­nity.

Ear­lier this month, the city of Tsh­wane’s In­ner City Re­ju­ve­na­tion Pro­gramme un­der Op­er­a­tion led a mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary team on an op­er­a­tion to in­ten­sify the clean­ing up of the in­ner city with a par­tic­u­lar fo­cus on re­mov­ing drugs from the streets.

Mayor Solly Msi­manga said derelict build­ings in Tsh­wane of­ten har­boured crim­i­nals and robbed the city of eco­nomic pro­duc­tiv­ity needed to en­hance the qual­ity of lives of all res­i­dents.

These build­ings are of­ten rid­dled with il­le­gal ser­vice con­nec­tions that con­tra­vene the city’s by-laws.

The re­ju­ve­na­tion of the in­ner city will go a long way to achiev­ing this.

Last month, Tsh­wane po­lice an­nounced that over the past few months and through­out the fes­tive sea­son, 135 sus­pects were con­victed for pos­ses­sion of drugs.

WAR: The city of Tsh­wane and the Univer­sity of Pre­to­ria have joined hands to fight in the on­go­ing war against drug and sub­stance abuse.

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