With increasing concern that authorities are losing the fight in curbing drug addiction, an NGO based in Worcester has urged Premier Helen Zille to immediately establish a commission of inquiry into the substance abuse crisis in the province. The organisation, Recovering Addicts/Alcoholics Empowering Lives, commonly referred to as (RAEL), first wrote a letter to the premier’s office on the 20 November 2017. They believe the province urgently needs such a commission, and that there is no political strategy or plan to address it.
“The situation has become so serious that girls as young as 14 years old, and little boys of 6 and 7 are using drugs, and the rehabilitation centres in the province needs to be managed by competent people,” says Anthony Hall from RAEL.
Hall says the province is in desperate need of intervention by provincial government and police.
“The local government are not address statistics as two out of five are on tik. There is no coordinated approach. By the lack of response the Premier, is denying that there a drug problem in Cape Town. We cannot break the cycle of drugs if we don’t address it,” said Hall.
With widespread panic over the spread of a new drug called Flakka, which has already made its way to Durban, Hall fears the drug scourge will worsen in Cape Town.
“We are seeing the videos but yet those in power are not doing something about it. We want to save our children. This is not a political campaign…we want help from government who has the resources to help us.”
Halls further adds that not everyone can afford rehabilitation centres and the waiting list is as long as eight months.
“Five years ago we told the government that there’s going to be an explosion in the country from drugs. We will speak out without fear or favour, as we cannot be silent. We are going to the High Court and will force the Western Cape Premier Helen Zille to answer. We know how bad it is really is, but there is still hope for the people of the Western Cape and their fight against drugs,” he concluded. VOC