The Central Drug Authority presented the 2013-2017 National Drug Master Plan (NDMP) to the Committee with the Deputy Minister of Social Development, Ms Bogopane Zulu in attendance.
The CDA’s mission was to implement holistic and cost effective strategies to reduce the supply and consumption of drugs and the harm associated with substance use, abuse and dependency in South Africa. The NDMP impact and strategic approach expected outcome was improved quality of life for families and communities through implementation of integrated departmental and provincial drug master plans and reports. In response to addressing and treatment of substance abuse, the CDA action plan addressed the induction and capacity development of CDA and key stakeholders. It also addressed the development of a database and effective governance, communication, research and development, infrastructure and input requirements. The action plan spoke to the development and implementation of master plans, regular reporting to the Minister, a monitoring and evaluation programme and the development of the 2018-2022 NDMP.
The 2013-2017 NDMP would be integrated with the SAPS Anti Drug Strategy and all stakeholders should assist in their areas of specialisation. To date no impact assessment had been conducted and CDA, together with the Department and the Department of Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) would conduct monitoring and evaluation programmes during 2015/16. Challenges included the inadequate allocation of resources, changes in patterns of abuse, increasing incidents of substance abuse and associated social ills and no baseline data against which to measure the impact of interventions.
Although the majority of Members commended the report and efforts by CDA, some highlighted the lack of baseline data and noted that this made it impossible to properly evaluate the programme. Some felt that a lack of resources should not be listed as a possible challenge to the NDMP, because a plan should be developed to speak to the lack of resources; otherwise it was just a wish list. It was also highlighted that the challenges listed by CDA remained the same as in the report presented to the Committee in November 2014 and Members enquired why the impact assessment had not been done. Members reminded the Deputy Minister that a recommendation had been previously made that CDA be elevated to a government agency and asked for an update to be provided to the Committee.
The Chairperson welcomed everyone, and especially the Deputy Minister of Social Development, Ms Bogopane Zulu, to the meeting. The role of stakeholders in the fight against drug abuse was very important and the Chairperson acknowledged various representatives from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and religious groups.
Opening remarks by the Deputy Minister
The Deputy Minister said the Minister and the Chairperson of CDA were attending the annual session by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Narcotics in Vienna and the African Union was also planning a similar session on the same subject for April 2015. She requested a meeting with the Committee to introduce the Disability Policy as soon as possible to enable Members to give input before the May 2015 deadline.
The Central Drug Authority (CDA) on the 2013-2017 National Drug Master Plan (NDMP)
Mr David Bayever, Deputy Chairperson, CDA, said the entity’s mission was to implement holistic and cost effective strategies to reduce the supply and consumption of drugs and the harm associated with substance use, abuse and dependency in South Africa. The key outcomes of the 2013-2017 NDMP included reduced socio-economic impact of substance abuse and related illnesses and an increased ability for people to deal with substance abuse within communities. It also aimed for an integrated funded system of diagnosis, treatment and aftercare, as well as laws and policies to effectively facilitate governance of the alcohol and drug supply chain. The NDMP impact and strategic approach expected outcome was improved quality of life for families and communities through implementation of integrated departmental and provincial drug master plans and reports. The grouped community needs and integrated NDMP strategy encompassed supply reduction, demand reduction and harm reduction.
Mr Bayever gave an overview of the summit resolutions and the expected results of the integrated NDMP strategy. In response to addressing and treatment of substance abuse, the CDA action plan addressed the induction and capacity development of CDA and key stakeholders. It also addressed the development of a database and effective governance, communication, research and development, infrastructure and input requirements. The action plan spoke to the development and implementation of master plans, regular reporting to the Minister, a monitoring and evaluation programme and the development of the 2018-2022 NDMP.
Key Implementation Interventions / Achievements: Demand Reduction
- The National Clearinghouse had been maintained
- The helpline and SMS line had been maintained
- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Sobriety Week was held
- All Provincial Substance Abuse Forums and active Local Drug Action Committees (LDACs) continued substance awareness programmes
- The Department evaluated the Ke Moja Drug Awareness programme to ascertain its effectiveness
- CDA held capacity building workshops for 14 government departments
- The Department was implementing the Prevention of and Treatment for Substance Abuse Act
- An Integrated Intervention Plan was developed for the community of Eldorado Park after the Presidential visit
- Eight provinces were capacitated to implement an Eldorado Park-type action plan
Key Implementation Interventions/Achievements: Supply Reduction
- DTI regulated liquor production, distribution and sales through national and provincial spheres of government
- The Department of Health (DOH) conducted an impact assessment on marketing and advertising of alcohol and revised the regulations of alcohol warning labels
- The South African Police Services (SAPS), the South African Revenue Services (SARS) and the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) managed the ports of entry jointly
- There were increased targeted tax benchmarks for beer and the annual alcohol excise judgments were well above inflation
Key Implementation Interventions / Achievements: Harm Reduction
- The Treatment Symposium was held in November 2014
- DOH also screened for alcohol use disorders among TB patients
- Currently there were seven public treatment centres and 48 registered private treatment centres, with 73 outpatient treatment services and aftercare support groups in all provinces
- Some 17 000 patients had been treated for substance abuse
- Detoxification guidelines were developed by DOH
- There were proposed amendments to the National Road Traffic Act to decrease blood and breath alcohol limits
The 2013-2017 NDMP would be integrated with the SAPS Anti Drug Strategy and all stakeholders should assist in their areas of specialization. CDA chaired the BRICS Anti-Narcotics working group and participated in the African Union (AU) Experts and Ministers on Drug Control Conference. To date no impact assessment had been conducted and CDA, together with the Department and the Department of Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) would conduct monitoring and evaluation programmes during 2015/16. Challenges included the inadequate allocation of resources, changes in patterns of abuse, increasing incidents of substance abuse and associated social ills and no baseline data against which to measure the impact of interventions.
The 2013-2017 NDMP was influenced by the mass mobilisation study and the resolution passed by the second Biennial Anti-Substance Abuse Summit. It was designed to make provision for monitoring and evaluation in accordance with the national Development Plan (NDP). The implementation of the NDMP required the commitment and active involvement of local and international partners and the provision of adequate resources.
Ms B Abrahams (ANC) said the legislation needed to be reviewed to address drug lords going in and out of prisons. She referred to her constituency in Eldorado Park and said the Ke Moja project was working and it should be taken to the whole of South Africa. She thanked the Department and everyone involved for the safe house that was launched in the area and the initiative at Baragwanath Hospital to avail 20 beds to the cause.
The Chairperson agreed and said the legislation should respond to the efforts made by the Department and stakeholders, because drug lords were seldom incarcerated for long periods.
Ms K De Kock (DA) said she was concerned about the lack of proper baseline data and it should be the main priority. The previous presentation stated that the information presented was from existing rehabilitation centres. Only a certain type of individual would go look for help or treatment and there was not a lot of treatment centres. The statistics being used did not give an accurate reflection of the nature or the extent of the problem. A plan had to be developed based on baseline data and it made it impossible to do evaluation. She asked when the baseline would be done, who would be responsible and whether there was a budget to do the study. She also wanted to know who was responsible for monitoring and evaluation between the Department and CDA and whether that unit was sufficiently capacitated. The presentation stated that one of the challenges to the 2013-2017 NDMP was the inadequate allocation of resources. A plan should be developed to speak to the lack of resources; otherwise it was just a wish list. She asked whether the NDMP had been costed in terms of money and personnel.
The Deputy Minister agreed about the value of baseline data from a research perspective but, but it was not the fundamental determinants of this programme. It was wrong to paint the picture that the programme would fall apart because of a lack of baseline data. Drugs and the possession thereof were illegal in this country and the data would be anecdotal, because it would be voluntary. In terms of South African law, treatment was voluntary, because a person had the right not to accept treatment. The study would be done in 2016 and procurement processes would be followed to determine who was suitably qualified to conduct the study. The President had established the Inter-Ministerial Committee, acknowledging the social, economic and criminal components to evaluate existing legislation. The Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) had been done and the report could be shared with the Committee. CDA got allocated R12 million and it included staff remuneration and sitting allowances for board members. It was not a lot of money, but national government had to set the norms and standards that should be implemented by provinces. The NDMP had been costed and each province submitted their costing which had been consolidated and it would be shared with the Committee.
Ms Conny Nxumalo, Deputy Director-General: Welfare Services, DSD, said there was no baseline, but there was a problem and it should be dealt with. The baseline had been identified as a gap and it would be a two-year project.
The Chairperson said the 2013-2017 NDMP was a plan in process and drug and alcohol abuse was both a departmental and societal matter. The research depended on community participation and most community organisations could give the information and statistics of what was happening in their communities.
Ms E Wilson (DA) said the Act clearly stated that every municipality should have a Local Drug Action Forum and not one of the 18 municipalities visited in Limpopo had such a forum. She asked how monitoring and evaluation could be done if municipalities were not reporting to provinces and provinces were not reporting statistics to the Minister. The CDA could plan all it liked, but planning without that type of information was “planning against nothing”.
The Deputy Minister said the CDA was a programme in the Department and it was also monitored by the Department of Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME). She asked Ms Wilson to use her passion and energy to also get the DA governed Western Cape Province to develop a master plan. Municipalities saw the management of local drug master plans as unfunded mandates and it created a challenge. A funding model was being finalised to capacitate municipalities. It should be noted that drug master plans did not exist in other politically affiliated municipalities either.
Ms S Tsoleli (ANC) said the question should be whether the Department had sufficient allocation for this programme.
Ms S Kopane (DA) said CDA appeared before the Committee on 19 November 2014 and the challenges presented today were the same challenges alluded to at the previous meeting. An action plan was expected and she asked how these challenges would be resolved. The expected outcome of the NDMP was improved quality of life for families and communities through implementation of integrated departmental and provincial master plans and reports, but the challenges remained the same. She asked why the impact assessment had not been done and why the action plan did not have any time frames.
The Deputy Minister said CDA was instructed not to change the report, because the Committee did not engage the report on 19 November 2014. It was true that there were active and non-active partners, but there was a plan in motion to rectify that. In the first week of April 2015 a workshop would be hosted where partners from both national government and provinces ‘would be read the riot act’. The action plan did not have time frames because the national action plan set the norms and standards and the provinces and municipalities were supposed to implement. Aspects of the plan had time frames and those activities the Department was responsible for would be dated.
Mr S Mabilo (ANC) asked that the Committee be provided with the results of the evaluation on the effectiveness of the Ke Moja drug awareness programmes. Eight provinces were capacitated to implement the Eldorado Park-type action plan and he asked what province was not included and why. He asked that details be provided on how SAPS, SARS and DHA were managing the ports of entry to answer the question on whether drugs entering the country were being managed. The Committee should encourage all stakeholders played their part and he commended CDA on the international recognition received through chairing of the BRICS Anti-Narcotics Working Group.
The Deputy Minister said the outcomes of the Ke Moja project evaluation would be shared with the Committee and the Western Cape Province was the outstanding province.
Ms Nxumalo said the criminal justice cluster was taking border management seriously in terms of coordination to address the challenges at the ports of entry.
The Chairperson said there had been a recommendation made that CDA be elevated to a government agency and she asked the Deputy Minister to comment on that proposal.
The Deputy Minister said an impact assessment of the proposal would be done and the outcomes would be reported to the Committee.
Ms H Malgas (ANC) said it was important to ‘know the enemy’ and the environment. Drug and alcohol abuse were rife in Mitchells Plain, Eldorado Park and Helenvale and Members of Parliament had to come up with lasting solutions to the problems as public representatives. Those who sell drugs often helped the poorest in the communities to buy loyalties. The CDA should be an entity under the Department and she asked what was being done with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS).
The Deputy Minister said South Africa had a growing drug problem, but the country did not have big challenges with well known internationally recognised drugs. South Africa’s biggest challenge was home concocted drugs where household cleaning products were used to concoct drugs which made it difficult to detect, to treat and to control. On drugs that were well known, work was being done with Mexico and Brazil which were countries that had in a way found the way around dealing with the social impact of drugs and drug trafficking. Once the NDMP was integrated with master plans from the police and security clusters, communities would be educated on the skills to report those who sell and use drugs. Research had been done on FAS with parents that consented to participate and there was baseline data available which would be shared with the Committee. The Committee could at any time visit De Aar in the Northern Cape to witness the FAS programme that was being implemented which lowered the incidence of FAS by 70%. The programme would next be implemented in Port Elizabeth and surrounding areas in an attempt to map the implementation according to the baseline data. The department was looking to work with a number of non-governmental organisations to implement the ‘Healthy Mother Healthy Baby’ programme.
The Chairperson said churches should be included in the action plan because of the role they played in communities. She asked the Department to look into more media coverage to show the effects of drug abuse and the risks involved in drug trafficking.
The Deputy Minister confirmed that churches were high on the priority of the Presidential Working Group.
The Chairperson thanked everyone for their input.
The meeting was adjourned.