By Francesca Villette
Cape Town – Young people have what it takes to put an end to the scourge of violence against women and children by continuing to publicly condemn it, and by educating and empowering future generations.
That was part of a message from Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu on Tuesday to commemorate Drug Awareness Week as she hosted a webinar with youth across the country to discuss how they can affect positive change and end gender-based violence.
Zulu applauded the women-led public protests.
“The youth is part and parcel of finding solutions to this. My grandmother told me, ‘you stop the crying, so that your children will stop the crying, so that your grandchildren stop the crying’,” she said.
Drug Awareness Week, from June 22 to 26, will culminate in the virtual commemoration of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on June 26 under the theme “Value yourself and make healthy choices against alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse to minimise the spread of Covid-19”.
South Africa’s approach to substance abuse is enshrined in the National Drug Master Plan, a national blueprint to combat drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking and mitigate its negative consequences.
On Tuesday, Deputy Social Development Minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu visited the Dr Fabian and Florence Ribeiro Treatment Centre in Cullinan, east of Pretoria, which provides treatment, rehabilitation, reintegration and recovery support services to recovering substance users.
The department has focused on expanding free access to public facilities. There is now at least one public drug treatment centre in each province.