The Central Drug Authority presented its Annual Report for the year 2011/12 outlining the Authority’s purpose, composition, targets, key achievements, financial report, challenges, as well as recommendations.
It highlighting the National Drug Master Plan integrated strategy that encompassed supply, demand as well as harm reduction. It also alluded to the overall goal of the Authority which was to achieve measurable reduction in substance abuse that was to be an outcome of the latter strategy. The impact of the overall goal was that there was reduction in substance abuse and related social ills such as poverty, HIV/AIDS, sex work, crime, and the like. The outcome was improved quality of life through integrated Departmental and provincial Drug Master Plans and reports.
The Authority had set itself targets that included the review of the National Drug Master Plan, improving access to substance abuse information, and interventions including treatment. The Authority also sought to reduce the demand for illicit and licit substances of abuse while reducing the supply of illicit and licit substances of abuse as set out in the integrated plan. The targets also included reduction of the harm caused by substances. This would be supplemented by information based on research. The Authority also sought to embark on capacity building of service providers as well as enact policy and legislation to supplement its overall goals and objectives.
The key achievements of the Authority included the review of the National Drug Master Plan where the relevant stake holders were consulted but the Social Development Cluster had not been consulted because the document was finalised only two weeks previously when a meeting was not possible. The input of the relevant stakeholders who were available was factored into the document, which was being updated, refined and finalised to be presented to Cabinet for approval.
The Authority’s plan to improve access to substance abuse information and effective intervention had led to the achievement of a national clearing house being established and being functional, the resource directory being updated, the helpline as well as short message service (SMS) line sustained and reaching a substantial number of people. The Authority also outlined the provincial and local government achievements that were guided by the National Drug Master Plan.
An MF Member said that faith based organisations played a vital role and did an excellent job. He asked why the Authority apparently funded only two such organisations. He asked if the Authority’s programmes had been thoroughly audited in order to analyse the success rate. A DA Member asked why the annual report was submitted late. Generally very few rehabilitation centres were being assessed and he wanted to know why. He also asked what steps had been taken to ensure that every province had a state funded drug centre. He also enquired about the draft report on Ke Moja and its overall effectiveness. An ANC Member asked for more detail on the Authority’s budget and expenditure. The Chairperson said that the diagnostic review of substance abuse was welcome. For society substance abuse was a huge problem where marijuana and mandrax in the apartheid era had been used to enslave the population. The country shared a terrible history with substance abuse where people were even paid with beer for their labour. The country needed to deal with the matter over generations and it was not something that would be easy. The older generation had a responsibility to the younger generation to ensure that it did not use substances. Prevention and advocacy should be promoted.
Central Drug Authority (CDA) Annual Report 2011/12: briefing
Mr Mogotsi Kalaeamodimo, CDA Chairperson, conducted the presentation and presented on the purpose of the CDA, its composition, 2011/12 key achievements, the financial report, challenges as well as recommendations. (See presentation document)
He also described the strategy to achieve the CDA’s goals as well as overall goals, plans and achievements across all provinces. The CDA had set itself targets that included the review of the National Drug Master Plan, improving access to substance abuse information, and interventions including treatment. The CDA also sought to reduce the demand for illicit and licit substances of abuse while reducing the supply of illicit and licit substances of abuse as set out in the integrated plan. The targets also included reduction of the harm caused by substances. This would be supplemented by information, based on the research that the CDA set out to conduct. The CDA also sought to embark on capacity building of service providers as well as to introduce policy and legislation to supplement overall goals and objectives.
The key achievements of the Authority included the review of the National Drug Master Plan where the relevant stake holders were consulted, but the Social Development Cluster had not been consulted because the document was finalised only two weeks previously when a meeting was not possible. The input of the relevant stakeholders who were available was factored into the document, which was being updated, refined and finalised to be presented to Cabinet for approval.
The Authority’s plan to improve access to substance abuse information and effective intervention had led to the achievement of a national clearing house being established and functional, the resource directory being updated, the helpline as well as short message service (SMS) line sustained and reaching a substantial number of people. The Authority also outlined the provincial and local government achievements that were guided by the National Drug Master Plan.
(See presentation document)
The Chairperson advised the CDA on its presentation stating that it should work on its figures to make the slides more reader friendly.
Ms P Xaba (ANC), from Gauteng, was worried that the CDA had only mentioned Hamaanskraal and Mamelodi while speaking about Gauteng. Gauteng was big and consisted of five regions and in Ivory Park substance abuse was rife. Places like Roodepoort also had a substance abuse problem where foreigners were selling drugs like sweets. The people of Roodepoort had called her about the drug problem and she had referred them to the police but they stated that they were not sure what happened between the police and the people that were selling drugs in their area. She asked if the CDA knew exactly what was going on in other districts, then she wanted to know why the CDA had not mentioned other districts.
Ms M Mafolo (ANC) asked whether there had been any research on the structural impact of the CDA. She referred to slide 39 of the impact of the CDA and the National Drug Master Plan (NDMP) and that it had been measured. The CDA could not have problems that it had not yet measured and she wanted to know why this was so. She then referred to slide 7 on the National Drug Master Plan review and asked the CDA to kindly explain whether the NDMP had been reviewed or if it was still going to be reviewed. She also enquired about slide 21 which was based on the special project about the link between HIV and drug abuse and asked the CDA to provide the project report and its outcome as well as clarify in which province it was conducted.
Ms P Tshwete (ANC) referred the Committee to slide 20 and enquired about the treatment model referred to. She also referred to slide 29 where the CDA spoke about 40 social workers who were trained and wanted to know whether they were from Limpopo or recruited on a national basis. She also referred to slide 34 where the Free State was said to have a number of offenders through a treatment service that was similar to that of Northern Cape. She asked about the type of treatment that these people were getting. She stated that the centres for other provinces were not as clear as those of the Western Cape. She asked for more detail on the CDA’s budget and expenditure.
Ms Mafolo stated that substance abuse was a problem across all provinces and asked what happened to those provinces that did not call the CDA or were left out. She asked that the CDA clarify which districts it was referring to and in which provinces. She wanted clarity on South African Police Service (SAPS) initiatives as well as, for oversight purposes, the names of non-government organisations (NGOs) and non-profit organisations (NPOs) which the CDA had funded. The slide was not really clear and the reporting on the provinces was not great and required consistency. She gave slide 29 as an example. She also enquired about the budget from where the money to subsidise NPOs and NGOs came.
Ms H Makhuba (IFP) enquired about the abbreviation ‘LDAC’ and ‘LDC’ and whether they meant the same thing. She asked about public treatment centres and private treatment centres and what these meant. She also asked (slide 14) on how the schools were linked with police stations and emphasised that Gauteng had a nyaope problem. She said she did not live too far from Moropa Police Station and had not found any joy when she went there to get assistance as far as nyaope was concerned and therefore asked that the CDA state exactly what police stations were involved. She stated that she did not understand the achievements stated on slide 20 under the Department of Health and also wanted to know what the three health districts were.
Mr R Bhoola (MF) said that the buy-in of hard ball players such as various institutions, community leaders and faith based community leaders was needed in combat this problem of substance abuse. He was disturbed that the CDA seemed to not take the accurate and through buy-in of provinces yet the CDA was shouting on top of the roof trying to eradicate this problem and that it might be late for the early show. He asked what its plans were in order to bring the alignment amongst provinces to ensure that the elaborate problem about which it was speaking about had value. Faith based organisations played a vital role and did an excellent job. He asked why there were only a few of them and gave an example of KwaZulu-Natal having two and asked why the CDA apparently funded only two such organisations. This was disempowering them. He asked if this was based on budget constraints and if the CDA’s programmes had been thoroughly audited in order to analyse the success rate.
He said that schools were a correct path and stated that social workers were not directly linked to schools as they investigated the extent of addiction amongst children. He enquired if the social workers could not be directly linked to schools. He enquired if there was an assessment done on those kids sent by the law and the social workers. He asked if the Ke Moja programme was working and if it was fulfilling its mandate to the youth. He talked about the Newlands Rehabilitation centre and stated that it was having phenomenal changes and that in some provinces that were issues of infrastructure problems and asked how this could be aided. He concluded by asking about the outcomes of drug related arrests and how the people selling drugs tried to beat the system by sending young children to sell drugs.
Mr M Waters (DA) asked why the report was submitted late. He had two technical questions about the National Drug Master Plan in 2012 and whether it was from 01 January 01 April which was the start of the financial year and also if the current board was presenting this annual report because the old board was responsible for the report. He asked why the National Drug Master Plan had not yet been finalised. He referred to page 84 of the report that had to do with KwaZulu-Natal where the Premier had created a separate body undermining the forum and telling the departments not to attend the meetings - what steps had the NDA taken in this regard? Page 8 had repeated information, which was disingenuous in his opinion. Page 61 of the report seemed to be contradictory. Generally very few rehabilitation centres were being assessed and he wanted to know why. He also asked what steps had been taken to ensure that every province had a state funded drug centre. He also enquired about the draft report on Ke Moja and its overall effectiveness.
The Chairperson asked about the Ke Moja evaluation and noted that the CDA was not responsible for substance abuse in the provinces and the Committee should go for oversight visits to determine the extent of substance abuse as well as available support services. She was concerned that not all role players were playing their role because reports were not being done on time or not done at all. The Committee should continue calling SAPS as issues of trust regarding local police were raised. She also stated that SAPS and Social Development should work as partners. The lab results for nyaope were still being waited on and a joint meeting with SAPS would be discussed for a partnership to be established. She added that Ke Moja was not properly implemented in schools and that all schools suffered from substance abuse because they were all affected and at risk because children were selling drugs to other children. She said that Ke Moja should be in every school and that Ke Moja was not being taken seriously. She cautioned the Committee that people selling chips and sweets at schools sold drugs as well. She spoke about the manner in which there seemed to be a link between police and the merchants because whenever they were searched for drugs they were never found. She explained to the Committee that she had tried a strategy of asking a provincial official to conduct the raids instead of a local person and explained that this was more effective.
Ms Connie Nxumalo, Deputy Director-General: Welfare Services, DSD responded by saying that the diagnostic review had not yet been done and that there had been consultation with the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation in order to get an audit of the programmes in order to have generic indicators, as this was an issue from the provinces. She said that the CDA was highly prioritised because it provided clarity on developments in the provinces. She stated that the new legislation included norms and standards and allowed for them to be enforced which was contrary to what happened in the past. She said that there were seven public treatment centres meaning that they were owned by the state and referred to page 61 of the report and explained how the evaluation of the treatment centres worked. She also added that the CDA had a plan with the provinces for each one to have a public half-way house as well as a treatment centre. She gave an example of Limpopo which had completed its structure but it was not yet operational. This plan could be made available to the Committee as well as other documents such as the list of funded NPOs and NGOs as well as the Ke Moja Assessment Report. She added that the outcome of the Ke Moja assessment was interesting because it confirmed that it was still relevant content wise but that the name was not appealing and it needed a better name. The National Drug Master Plan approval was delayed for extensive consultation. She also stated that the Ke Moja programme was not uniformly implemented across all provinces and the coordination was not strong. She then suggested that coordination needed to be improved at national level as well as properly reported. She said that the report was not consistent and that there was need to make sure that the provinces handed in work that was aligned and had one format. She added that the CDA needed to be linked with the inter-ministerial committee that was implementing the plan of action approved by cabinet. She stated that there were many achievements that were not included in the report and that moving forward the two were linked in order to achieve great impact.
Mr Kalaeamodimo responded to the issue of the Premier of Kwazulu-Natal who had created a programme that undermined the national programme and said that the CDA had a business plan to embark on road shows in order to intensify Provincial Substance Abuse Forums as well as Local Drug Action Committees. The CDA would be going there on two main issues - implementation of new legislation, the Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse Act, and to try to explain what it meant to the forums as well as the implementation of the National Drug Master Plan and what was required.
He responded also that the CDA would ensure that the provinces had a buy-in through tabling the National Drug Master Plan to Cabinet and working closely with the MECs in tabling the Plan to the provincial legislature which started on 01 April of the current year and ended on 31 March in the following year. He also said that the current board had taken over the work of the previous board. He explained that the Department of Basic Education and the Police had a programme called “Adopt a Cop” where a police officer took care of a particular school in order to stop drugs from entering schools. He would ask the Department of Health to forward the report for presentation to the House. He replied that the CDA was given R101 000 to procure printers but used only R15 000 as one printer was too costly and the printers were leased instead which saved money. There was work being done by the provinces, the Provincial Substance Abuse Forums as well as the CDA. He added that this was part of the achievements not mentioned. He said that ‘treatment’ referring to therapeutic treatment and in some cases there was detoxification that involved medicines and thus there was a combination of therapies. He concluded by saying that the issue of Hammanskraal and Mamelodi had been addressed because it was linked to the Provincial Substance Abuse Forums.
Ms Nxumalo said that the CDA would respond to the question on the late submission of the report. She addressed the question on the offenders and the Northern Cape referral of patients and clarified that the Northern Cape did not have its own treatment centre and therefore referred their patients to other provinces.
The CDA replied that there was no particular format that provinces had to follow in terms of reporting. As part of the plans going forward this would be attended to. The provinces had presented their 2012/13 plans of action and these would be consolidated into a report. The new legislation required a report by the end of June. Departments and provinces had been asked to submit their plans in line with the NDMP even though it had not yet been approved by Cabinet.
The CDA clarified that the number of offenders reflected was in regard to external service providers that made programmes available in terms of education and awareness. The CDA was in partnership with the Department of Correctional Services whom it contacted on a yearly basis to find out how many offenders had gone through the programmes.
Mr David Bayever, CDA Deputy Chairperson, said that cannabis paper had been started in 2002 but the difficulty was that there had been new information. Internationally cannabis had been allowed for medicinal purposes. It was decided to rewrite the paper taking into account the new evidence that had come up. This was an initiative that the research wing of the CDA would take up. Nyaope did not have a standard formula and therefore it was difficult to classify. There were two main ingredients namely heroin and marijuana but it depended where it was made. To classify nyaope as an illicit drug was not possible as it did not have a standard formula but it had illicit substances within itself and this should be enough for prosecution given its illicit component. He also added that the Local Drug Action Committees (LDACs) and ‘LDCs’ were the same thing and that the clearing house was available to all members of the society and accessible to all parties regarding any questions they might have about the research.
Mr Coceko Pakade, Director-General, Department of Social Development (DSD) concluded the responses from the members of the CDA as well as his Department but alerted the Committee to the issue of assessment and said that it was very important. He believed it was not only the issue of drug and substance abuse that presented this challenge but campaigns such as Arrive Alive faced it as well. For example, most studies showed that one achieved 80% awareness yet behaviour not changing. Ownership of these kinds of interventions had to be a joint effort between civil society and government. He spoke about Eldorado Park and said that after the President had been there had been an indication of such a unity amongst that community where everyone was speaking in one voice and beginning to make a positive change in a very short space of time. He added that they worked together as a team in order to combat the substance abuse problem but that this was sadly not rue for most communities. He added that there were operational syndicates where drug lords used people who were transporting children to school to sell these drugs to them and when the community came together they were able to combat this in Eldorado Park in the form of road blocks and door to door searches. He added that the comments were valid in terms of what had worked and what had not worked. He also stated that if children having substances such as marijuana at school was normalised then society at large had a huge problem given that it would indicate that society was getting used to this which would have a very bad outcome. He added the National Drug Master plan would aid in providing consistency amongst the provinces to find out exactly what worked and what did not work and that the CDA should be equipped enough to thoroughly investigate what each province, local drug authorities as well as the national departments, were doing, because coordination was vital. He responded to the issue of faith based organisations and said that the CDA dealt with them as a collective not as individual entities.
The Chairperson said that she had taken note of the stakeholders’ involvement and the diagnostic review of substance abuse was welcome. She stated that for society substance abuse was a huge problem where marijuana and mandrax in the apartheid era had been used to enslave the population. She said that the country shared a terrible history with substance abuse where people were even paid with beer for their labour. She said the country needed to deal with the matter over generations and it was not something that would be easy. She said that the older generation had a responsibility to the younger generation to ensure that it did not use substances. Prevention and advocacy should be promoted and this was where Ke Moja came in. She would like to see more initiatives like that of Ivory Park and said that the police should reach out to public representatives. She looked forward to the further reports about the work of the CDA. She hoped that it would have more impact as well as the services in provinces. The lack of drug rehabilitation centres was to be looked into and engaged with.
The meeting was adjourned.
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