The City Of Cape Town today released its Draft Operational Strategy for alcohol and drug abuse. This strategy has been formulated to meet the City's constitutional obligation as a local government to secure public health and prevent what the Constitution terms 'public nuisances'.
The strategy proposes that the City commit itself to, among other things:
The recruitment and training of new and existing permanent City staff members, who will remain specifically assigned to the prevention and treatment of drug use.
This will also include:
- Establishing outpatient drug treatment facilities in existing City of Cape Town Health Department clinics. The City will be launching four out-patient based treatment centres in the most affected communities, with the first facility located in Tafelsig, Mitchells Plain. The next three centres to be established would be located in or close to Atlantis, Athlone, Belhar, Bishop Lavis, Manenberg, Bonteheuwel, Elsies River, Kuils River, Delft , Eerste River, Blue Downs and Scottsdene.
- Establishing a dedicated anti-drug unit in the Metro Police.
- Allocating a budget of R10 million for treatment centres, including the R750 000 that was diverted from Youth Day events. This does not include the operating and staff costs incurred to the City in its various departments such as the Metro Police and Health Services.
- The establishment of Local Drug Action groups in the 8 City health districts. These Local Drug Action Groups will consist of relevant City officials, leaders of community organisations and the local police, and will liaise with the Provincial Drug co-ordinating forums. This organisational structure will help to manage how substance abuse is dealt with across the various communities of the City.
- Crack down on the utilisation of council-owned property for trading in or using drugs.
- Toughen up regulation of shebeens
- Drug testing to accompany existing alcohol testing at road blocks
This strategy has been driven as a special mayoral project by Mayoral Committee Member Grant Haskin and Mr Wesley Douglas who heads the city's drug and alcohol abuse programme.
It will be run by the City departments of Health, Safety and Security and Social Development, and co-ordinated by Councillor Haskin.
The strategy also constitutes the City's contribution to the National Drug Master Plan, and will be co-ordinated with Province, which has its own budget for drug treatment and policing.
Treatment will be based on methods developed by the Matrix Institute in the USA.
These methods are now used in more than a dozen countries where, like Cape Town, tik abuse has been a specific challenge.
This treatment model was chosen because it has delivered empirically proven results in countries that have had tik abuse problems for far longer than South Africa.
The City Draft Operation Strategy for Alcohol and Drugs will now go through council portfolio committees and sub councils for debate and fine tuning before going out for formal public comment and back to council for adoption.
The strategy should be adopted by the end of October this year.
A copy of the Strategy is available on request.
26 JUNE 2007
CITY OF CAPE TOWN
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