On Thursday, February 27, the Gauteng Department of Social Development (GDSD) continued to lead the fight against substance abuse in the province.

The department handed out new Anti-substance abuse awareness trucks to increase visibility in the fight against substance abuse at an event to be held in Sebokeng.

In rolling out the Gauteng City Region’s Anti-Substance Abuse Social Movement, the GDSD has partnered with various non-government organisations (NGOs) such as the Africa Youth Development Fund to assist with the administration of the movement.

The ‘Gig Trucks’ are the another initiative by the Department to intensify government’s programme and partnership with communities to fight the scourge of substance abuse.

“The Gauteng City Region (GCR) is increasingly becoming a centre of substance abuse and illicit trafficking due to the easy availability of the cheap but devastating drug ‘nyaope’ a crude concoction of low-grade heroin cut with anything from rat poison to chlorine, ” Onkemetse Kabasia, deputy director-general for the Gauteng department of social development said.

“Our children are under siege, we have to fight this demon with the last energy that we have. It is our responsibility as parents to protect our children from being exposed to this monster for those who are not yet experiment” he continued.

He said the purpose of the famous slogan “keep it 100 percent” is to encourage everybody that whatever we do in the fight against substance abuse we must do it one hundred percent.

“If you are recovering user you must commit 100 percent that you never go back and use drugs again, if you are an activist in the fight against substance abuse you must commit 100 percent, we don’t want energy that is 50 percent.”

He stressed that alcohol and substance abuse destroys lives, families, communities and our society, and sadly our young are the most vulnerable.

“We want to reignite the support of multi-stakeholder groupings behind the social movement campaign. As such, we want to mobilise all communities to join hands with Gauteng Province to take action in combating substance abuse” he added.

One recovering addicts Paseka Cingi (34) speaking on the sideline of the handing over of five trucks applauded government’s move and say the five trucks will come in handy to reach out more people.

A much hopeful and optimistic about the future, said nyaope is like a demon that target young people, one’s you are hooked up you will never get out unless you get help. Paseka who at the age of 19, says he owned Corner Bree Car wash before drugs messed up his life.

He says if families and civil society can double their efforts in fighting this monster things can change for the better. “It’s difficult in that world and people don’t understand, hence, sometimes they call us ‘Bo Nyaope.’ I used to own a car wash that make me a profit of R250 a day and all dissipated after I started using nyaope”

Africa Youth Development Fund Director Nhlanhla Zwane said substance abuse affects everyone directly and indirectly within the Gauteng City Region and undermines efforts to accelerate social transformation and sustainable development in our communities and, it is for this reason that we want to work with government and civil society to fight this enemy

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