22 June 2012

South Africa: Gauteng to Mark International Day Against Drug Abuse

Pretoria — Joining the global community to intensify the awareness campaigns on alcohol and drug abuse, the Gauteng Department of Social Development will be commemorating International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking at the Toekomsrus Community Hall next week.

The United Nations' International Day Against Drug and Illicit Trafficking is commemorated on 26 June each year to raise awareness about the major problem that illicit drugs and alcohol abuse present to society.

The day is supported by individuals, communities and various organisations all over the world, and government, organisations and individuals in many countries have actively participated in promotional events and larger scale activities, such as public rallies and mass media involvement to promote the awareness of dangers associated with illicit drugs and alcohol abuse.

The department said that Toekomsrus, which is one of the townships on the West Rand of Johannesburg, had been identified as having high levels of substance abuse with the most common substances reported to be dagga, crack cocaine or "rocks" and alcohol.

"Due to increasing number of shebeens and taverns in this community, the abuse of alcohol and incidents of violence have also become grave concerns," the department said.

The theme for this year's campaign is "Global Actions for Healthy Communities without Drugs".

Addressing the hundreds of people who attended the Youth Day event on 16 June 2012 at Mofolo Park, Soweto, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said the province would be introducing several programmes to improve the lives of the ordinary youth in the province such as the roll out of the Drugs Treatment Centres Campaign.

Providing feedback on progress made in the government's social protection cluster, including new legislation on the cards, Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini announced on Monday that the draft Bill on restricting alcohol advertising and marketing would be submitted to Cabinet before the end of this year.

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