National Drug Master Plan: briefing

Social Development

11 February 1999
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Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report


12 February 1999

Documents Handed Out

National Drug Master Plan (Appendix 1)
Public comments received on the 7th Draft of the National Drug Master Plan (Appendix 2)

Attorney General Kahn briefed the committee members on the updated National Drug Master Plan, which is completed and updated. The bill is currently before the new parliament.

Detailed Minutes
Advocate Kahn stressed the drug master plan is a practical document that will meet the concerns of the day. In 1994, President Mandela focused on South Africa’s drug problem in his first parliamentary address. Since this time, the drug effort has been ineffective. Why? A study of the status quo discovered that failure of earlier programs were due to:
- A fragmented and duplicated system
- Insensitivity to language barriers (most pamphlets were in English; not first languages)
- Ignored lack of literacy in various parts of country
- Focused on fashionable drugs instead of common ones (no longer focus on heroin, crack, ecstasy; rather on dagga and mandrax)

The five key areas of the new drug plan prioritize crime, youth, a commitment to health and welfare, research, and international involvement. Kahn claimed that South Africa’s largest problem with the drug war was the public’s lack of information on the drug problem. This master plan pulls the entire drug story into 60 pages and will be made accessible to the public.

Demand reduction is the only way to solve the drug problem; catching the drug lord or the proverbial ‘big fish’ is a short-term solution that proves ineffective.

Advocate Kahn explained the specifics of the new plan. A central board will be held accountable to parliament on a per annum basis. This central drug authority (CDA) will represent a cross-section of various government departments involved in drug prevention activities. Magistrate courts will operate the rural outreach programs, becoming the nucleus of action committees that will ensure universal access to drug prevention programs.

Chairperson Salojee thanked Advocate Kahn for the presentation and opened the floor to questions. MP Jassat (ANC) asked why the plan focused on the rural area if abuse is urbanized. Kahn replied that the failure to research drug use in the rural areas prompted the focus for research and programs in the rural areas.

MP Chalmers (ANC) believed demand reduction would solve South Africa’s problem. Her concern was the targeting of South Africa by the international drug mafia. How would the plan manage the borders? Kahn replied that the plan does not deal with the supply reduction aspect. This is an issue for the police and he agreed that something must be done quickly.

Another MP asked that the report please be translated into the eleven official languages and onto video so this information would be accessible to the public, and spur debate throughout the country.

MP Turok (ANC) read criticisms of the master plan and complained that the board had not taken advantage of the research of various South African NGOs. She also did not approve of the international slant to the master plan. She was disappointed with new bill because it added more people to the board and did not solve the drug problem. It claims to provide drug treatment centers however fails to report the cost, the figures and the effectiveness. It also fails to draw a distinction between addiction and abuse. It fails to solve the problem of addicts. Kahn replied that he disagreed with the criticism that claimed the master plan was an international "please help fund now" cry to the international community. The plan follows UN guidelines to show other countries how South Africa’s government plans to solve the drug problem. He did agree with the research criticism and has tried to rectify the problem in the new document. Professor Armani (Deputy Chair of advisory board) added that the intention of the master plan was not a how to; rather a guideline to see how the process would be limited. The master plan allows for an organized way of dealing with drugs. NGOs are good but lone voices. The new CDA provides a forum for NGOs to unite and interact effectively throughout the various levels of society. With the creation of a national database NGOs will be able to share and research ideas without interfering with individual research.

MP Ghandi (ANC) inquired where the amendments could be found in the master plan (pg. 45) She also questioned the implementation of the CDA and its research procedures. She also commented there was very little on treatment plans.

MP Chalmers (ANC) claimed that cannabis is the first crop of many farmers especially in the Eastern Cape. Although the current government policy is to burn the fields and seize contraband, she believes that cannabis is quite a productive crop. She asked if the master plan dealt with influencing horticulture in South Africa to farm cannabis as they do in Australia. Kahn replied that the U.N. would fund alternative development programs if South Africa would be willing to develop such programs.

MP September (ANC) inquired what the vision was behind the drug master plan. Kahn replied the master plan was born because the government recognized there is not enough money for everything and they needed to raise funds overseas to combat the drug problem.

Another MP questioned the budget of the CDA and wondered if the new board would be too large and prove ineffective as the previous had. Kahn replied that although there is a board, the secretariat holds the power. Comprised of three people, the secretariat will start a central data bank, create action committees throughout the rural areas, and commit government departments to combating drugs.

Chairman Salojee commented that not only should the master plan be tabled in Parliament, but also rather an annual debate on the drug problem should occur because of the debilitating effect drugs have on South African society. He likened the drug problem to that of AIDS, and hoped that a vigorous public awareness campaign would evolve from this master plan.

Dr. Harvey, (Department of Welfare) said that the Department of Welfare would fund the secretariat and administration of the CDA. Each department, however, must commit funds to their own drug prevention and fighting activities.

MP Turok (ANC) argued that the master plan fails to recognize the past failures of the National Drug Advisory Board, which has been in existence since 1994. The plan also fails to criticize any current drug prevention/education programs. She fears that the individuals in charge of this current program will be at the reigns in the new secretariat, inhibiting any success reaped from the master plan.

Chairman Salojee (ANC) also said that he believed that drug lords and selling drugs is still a problem that must be solved by any national drug policy, because education will not stop these individuals.

The Chairman then inquired if anyone had any comments on the bill itself. Dr. Harvey reminded the committee members that the bill and the master plan are complimentary to each other. The main difference between this bill and the Drug Dependency Act is that it renders the CDA accountable to Parliament.

The Chairman closed the meeting, thanking Advocate Kahn again for the presentation, and for an excellent plan for combating South Africa’s drug problem.

Appendix 1: National Drug Master Plan

National Drug Master Plan

National Drug Master Plan

The National Drug Master Plan was prepared by the Drug Advisory Board at the request of the

Minister for Welfare and Population Development, Ms Geraldine J Fraser-Moleketi

September 1998


The Secretary

Drug Advisory Board

Department of Welfare

Private Bag X901



Telephone: (012) 312 7568

Faximilee: (012) 324 2648




Introduction .......................................................................................................


Vision ................................................................................................................


The Master Plan: Its priorities, objectives and implementation ........................


Composition and functions of the Central Drug Authority, Secretariat,

local drug action committees, and provincial drug-abuse forums .....................


The five areas of focus .....................................................................................

Area 1: Crime ...................................................................................................

Area 2: Youth ....................................................................................................

Area 3: Community Health and Welfare ...........................................................

Area 4: Research and Communication .............................................................

Area 5: International Involvement .....................................................................


Conclusion ........................................................................................................

GLOSSARY ......................................................................................................

REFERENCES .................................................................................................

ANNEXURE 1 ...................................................................................................

ANNEXURE 2 ...................................................................................................


The Drug Advisory Board wishes to extend a word of thanks to the departments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) who contributed to the drafting of the Plan:

Office of the Attorney-General, Western Cape

South African Alliance for the Prevention of Substance Abuse (SAAPSA)

Department of Welfare

Alcohol and Drug Studies, Johannesburg

South African Narcotics Bureau (SANAB)

South African Revenue Service (SARS)

Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Department of Health

South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency (SANCA)

Medical Research Council (MRC)

Human Science Research Council (HSRC)

National Crime Prevention Strategy, Programme Management Services, Department of Welfare

Department of Education

Department of Foreign Affairs

Department of Correctional Services

Roads and Transport Technology, CSIR

Medicines Control Board, Department of Health

Department of Justice

A special word of thanks to Ms Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, Minister for Welfare and Population Development, for her support in designing this

National Drug Master Plan.

Chapter 1


1 Why the concern about drugs?

In his first opening address to Parliament in 1994, South African President Nelson Mandela specifically singled out alcohol and drug abuse among the social pathologies that needed to be combated. Alcohol and other drug abuse (hereinafter referred to as substance abuse) is a major cause of crime, poverty, reduced productivity, unemployment, dysfunctional family life, political instability, the escalation of chronic diseases such as AIDS and tuberculosis (TB), injury and premature death. Its sphere of influence reaches across social, racial, cultural, language, religious and gender barriers and, directly or indirectly, affects everyone.

South Africa is, for a number of reasons, experiencing an unacceptable increase in substance abuse (the age of first experimentation has also dropped) and its associated problems. Principal among them is the social and political transformation which has taken place on the domestic front, and our re-emergence as a member of the international community.

The rapid expansion of international air links, combined with the country’s geographic position on major trafficking routes between East Asia and the Middle East, the Americas and Europe; a well-developed transportation infrastructure; modern international telecommunications and banking systems; long, porous borders and weak border control have made South Africa a natural target for drug traffickers.

Desperate and unemployed South Africans are being lured by syndicates with promises of easy money into becoming drug couriers and the overflow of drugs transshipped through South Africa is also finding its way onto the local market.

With regard to tobacco, the National Cancer Registry estimates that about 89 000 premature deaths per year can be expected in South Africa on the basis of current smoking patterns.

South Africa is not alone in its fight against drugs. The rapid globalisation of the drug trade over the past decade has virtually assured that no country is immune to the threat, and a growing number are developing long-term strategies to deal with the problem. The successes of these strategies, however, necessarily imply the increased threat to the South Africa’s borders, as drug traffickers are forced to find markets further afield in which to ply their wares.

2 Which drugs are causing the problems?

Substance-abuse patterns in South Africa vary according to age, social class, occupation, school status, gender and geographic location.

All drugs can be broadly divided into the following three groups:

- The naturally occurring drugs: cannabis (dagga) and KHAT.

- The semi-synthetic drugs such as cocaine and heroin.

- The fully synthetic drugs, such as methylenedioxymethamphetamine (Ecstasy) and methaqualone (Mandrax).

Generally, the substances that are abused in South Africa can roughly be divided into three categories: those that are extensively used, those that are moderately used and those used less frequently.

In the first category, alcohol and tobacco remain the most commonly abused substance in South Africa, followed by cannabis and the cannabis/Mandrax (‘white pipe’) combination. Mandrax is sometimes used on its own. There is also considerable abuse of over-the-counter and prescription medicines (e.g. pain relievers, tranquillisers, cough mixtures, slimming tablets), as well as volatile solvents (especially glue).

The second category contains crack cocaine, cocaine (powder), heroin, Speed, LSD, hashish and Ecstasy, although crack cocaine may need to be placed in the first category in the near future.

In the category of least frequently used drugs, one finds opium, Rohypnol (Fluni-trazipam), Ketamine and Wellconal.

South Africa now ranks among the world’s largest producers of cannabis, most of which is consumed regionally, with some shipments made to the Netherlands and the United Kingdom (UK). Both locally and at a global level, however, the drug scene has been shown to be extremely dynamic. In terms of production, changes have been noted both in the sites of production as well as in the substances being produced. Globally, for example, there has been an increase in production of substances such as heroin, cocaine and amphetamines. In Southern Africa, laboratories where Mandrax is being produced have been discovered in South Africa and Zambia.

For the purposes of the National Drug Master Plan, the term ‘drugs’ will refer to the illicit drugs as defined in the Drugs and Drug-Trafficking Act, 1992 (Act 140 of 1992), and the popularly abused and licit medicines. While not specifically included, alcohol, tobacco and volatile solvents are also recognised as major contributing factors to health and social problems in the country. Wherever possible, therefore, the South African National Drug Master Plan is to be used as a measure for reducing their abuse and minimising the harm they cause.

3 What is a national drug master plan?

A drug master plan is defined by the United Nations Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) as ‘the single document adopted by government outlining all national concerns in drug control.

‘It summarizes authoritatively national policies, defines priorities and apportions responsibilities for drug-control efforts’ (UNDCP, 1995, p2). It acts both as a director and a directory of a country’s policies and programmes in the fight against substance abuse.

The South African National Drug Master Plan will instruct, where it has the power, and inform.

4 Why does South Africa need a national drug master plan?

Sections 10 to 12(1) of Chapter 2 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act 108 of 1996), grants citizens the right to have their dignity respected and protected, the right to life, and the right to freedom and security.

The South African Government is accordingly committed to reducing both the supply of illegal drugs and the demand for them through a wide range of actions and programmes.

To do this, it needs the help of all the criminal justice agencies, other government departments, local authorities, health professionals, traditional healers, religious organisations, schools, parents, sports groups, the media and the private sector.

To date, however, the South African response to the drug problem has been disjointed, fragmented and uncoordinated. This incoherent response has negatively influenced the fight against drugs in two main ways, namely:

- Firstly, the duplication of certain services and non-existence of others has led, in effect, to the mismanagement of the meagre resources available and the failure to secure others that are sorely needed.

- Secondly, the lack of a single, unified and strategic response to the drug problem has meant that the war against drugs has been waged neither effectively nor on all fronts.

The South African National Drug Master Plan will act as the blueprint for South Africa’s response to drug abuse. It will be the means by which existing resources may be harnessed and yet others marshalled, their services streamlined and guided, and will set out South African national policies and priorities in the campaign against substance abuse. It will also substantially assist in ensuring that a broader base of national and provincial departments take account of substance-abuse issues in their activities and budgets.

It will, in short, act as the barometer of the commitment and performance of the South African Government and its citizens in the field of substance abuse.

5 How did the South African National Master Plan come about ?

In terms of the Prevention and Treatment of Drug Dependency Act of 1992, the first Drug Advisory Board (DAB) was established in November 1993. In 1995, it was replaced with the existing DAB. The functions of the DAB are to advise the Minister for Welfare and Population Development on matters pertaining to alcohol and drug abuse, and to plan, coordinate and promote measures relating to the prevention and combating of drug abuse and to the treatment of drug-dependent people.

In 1997, the Minister requested the DAB to develop a drug master plan for South Africa. Apart from the country’s obvious need for such a plan, this step was in accordance with international practice.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) was established by means of a treaty signed by 12 member states who fall within the region. In terms of the treaty, SADC has eight objectives, all designed to overcome poverty and underdevelopment, and achieve common prosperity, peace and unity.

In 1996, SADC concluded a Protocol on Combating Illicit Drug Trafficking, stating its commitment to ‘the establishment of a regional institutional framework for co-operation in combating illicit drug supply, demand and corruption in member states, through legislative and social policies’. In terms of this protocol, which South Africa has ratified, member states are required to participate in a ‘joint concerted effort’ to ‘eradicate illicit drug production and trafficking’ through ‘the implementation of coordinated, comprehensive and integrated drug control and prevention programmes that address both supply and demand’. (Preamble to the Protocol. These wide-ranging programmes are described in articles 1 through 9 of the Protocol.)

Against the above background, the DAB conducted extensive research into both national and international drug strategies in an effort to evolve a model that would be suitable locally. A series of workshops led to the provisional drafting of a framework for a master plan, which was presented throughout the country by means of public hearings (See Annexure 3).

While the general approach set out in that document met with a high degree of support, full account has been taken of the comments made in order to generate maximum agreement and commitment from those who will help to deliver the strategy on the ground.

Chapter 2


The vision is to build a drug-free society together and to make a contribution to the global problem of substance abuse.

South Africa has entered into a human rights culture and now, more than at any time in its history, we, the Government, are in a position to devote our energies exclusively to the well-being of our citizens.

Thus the Government has adopted a far-reaching strategy to create economic opportunities and a better life for all. This is a long-term process which will go a long way towards addressing the causes of substance abuse.

In the shorter term, the Government will focus on the areas of greatest need and risk.

This is in essence what this document is about.

Chapter 3

The Master Plan: Its priorities, objectives and implementation

Local research suggests that there are many reasons for misuse; that key factors include unemployment; low self-esteem; educational failure; boredom and physical, psychological or family problems. Even where the cause relates more to experimentation or enjoyment, or to a shift from alcohol or tobacco, the fact is that overtly mind-altering substances have greater pull than other activities. Many people misuse drugs because they do not have the opportunity to lead fulfilling lives.

The South African National Drug Master Plan aims to bring about the reduction of substance abuse and its related harmful consequences. In order to address the drug problem effectively, however, there should be a balance between actions which bring about a decrease in the availability of drugs (control and law enforcement) and the demand for drugs (prevention, treatment and rehabilitation).


In order to achieve its aims, the Master Plan has identified five main areas of focus, namely

- crime

- youth

- community health and welfare

- research and information dissemination

- international involvement.

A sixth, overriding and overarching goal has also been identified, namely communication.


The main objectives of the Master Plan in these five areas are to


- ensure that the law is effectively enforced, especially against those involved in the supply and trafficking of illegal drugs

- reduce the incidence of drug-related crime

- reduce the harmful consequences of drug-related crime

- reduce the level of drug misuse in prisons

- reduce the level of substance abuse among road users.


- motivate youth to refrain from drug abuse

- ensure that schools offer effective programmes on drug education; giving pupils the facts, warning them of the risks, and helping them to develop the skills and attitudes to resist drug misuse

- raise awareness among teachers, governing bodies and parents of the issues associated with drug misuse and young people

- develop effective national and local public education strategies focusing particularly on young people

- ensure that young people, at risk of drug misuse or who experiment with, or become dependent on drugs, have access to a range of advice, counselling, treatment, rehabilitation and after-care services.

Community health and welfare

- protect communities from the health risks and other damages associated with drug misuse, including the spread of communicable diseases, related injuries and premature death

- discourage people from misusing drugs and to enable those who do so to stop

- ensure that individual drug misusers have access to a range of advice, counselling, treatment, rehabilitation and after-care services

- ensure that families of drug misusers have access to advice, counselling and support services

- develop and implement training programmes on the detection of substance abuse, its prevention and treatment, for health and welfare workers, law-enforcement officials and law students, personnel officers and teachers, as well as any other role-players.

Research and the dissemination of information

- establish and maintain a substance-abuse information system which will support the implementation, evaluation and ongoing development of a national drug master plan

- coordinate the collection and dissemination of locally and internationally derived information of relevance to substance-abuse intervention

- evaluate internationally developed intervention approaches and determine which modifications are required for success in the local context.

International involvement

- enter into agreements with other countries and organisations in order to secure mutual legal assistance, intelligence sharing and co-operation in anti-drug efforts and training

- identify and implement options, including science and technology options, to improve the effectiveness of law enforcement to stop the flow of drugs into the Republic and to improve the effectiveness of demand-reduction approaches

- promote stronger regional co-operation.


The overarching objective of the Master Plan is to ensure that all educational material and other information disseminated is contextually correct, that is, in a form and language appropriate to the culture, language, level of education and socio-economic background of its intended recipients.


Figure 1. Schematic representation of the reporting structure

The main proposals for action in support of these objectives are to

1. establish a national Central Drug Authority with an appropriate budget, resources and management infrastructure which will

- be independent

- answer to Parliament

- oversee and monitor the implementation of the Master Plan

2. establish an adequately resourced Secretariat to oversee the administration of the Master Plan

3. facilitate the establishment of an action committee in each of the 382 magisterial districts in the country, consisting of a magistrate or a senior representative from his or her office and seconded government and non-governmental persons that will

- liaise with the Central Drug Authority (via the Secretariat) at all times

- facilitate and monitor the implementation of the Master Plan and the uniform spread of information and policies in every part of the country.

4. strengthen existing provincial substance-abuse forums and to facilitate the establishment of forums where they do not exist.

Chapter 4

Composition and functions of the Central Drug Authority, Secretariat, local drug action committees and provincial drug abuse forums


I.I Composition

It is proposed that the Central Drug Authority have a similar composition, and its members will be appointed in the same manner as the DAB.

The Central Drug Authority should have a high-profile head and its members should include representatives from the following institutions:

- Department of Justice

- Department of Health

- Department of Education

- Department of Welfare

- Department of Home Affairs

- Department of Foreign Affairs

- Department of Trade and Industry

- Department of Finance

- Department of Labour

- Department of Correctional Services

- South African Police Service

- Research councils and universities

- Five representatives from non-governmental organisations (NGOs)

- Secretariat for Safety and Security

- National Youth Commission

- Business Against Crime

- Teachers' trade union representatives

- One representative from national intelligence services

The Central Drug Authority should also include representatives from each of the nine provinces from the provincial substance-abuse forums.

I.II Functions

Once Cabinet has approved the Master Plan, the primary function of the Central Drug Authority will be to monitor its implementation. To facilitate the integration of different government departments on the issue of substance abuse, such a body will be answerable to Parliament. It will, however, liaise and interact both with provincial forums and the drug action committees.

The functions of the Central Drug Authority will include

i. overseeing and monitoring the implementation of the Master Plan

ii. facilitating and encouraging the coordination of programmes

iii. facilitating the rationalisation of existing resources and monitoring their effective use

iv. encouraging government departments and the private sector to draw up plans to address drug abuse in line with the goals of the Master Plan

v. introducing performance indicators whereby the effectiveness and progress of the action plans can be monitored and evaluated on all levels

vi. facilitating the initiation and promotion of measures, including legislation, to combat the misuse of drugs

vii. reviewing and commenting on drug-related policies and programmes developed both locally and internationally

viii. establishing and maintaining information systems which will support the implementation, evaluation and ongoing development of a national drug master plan

ix. submitting an annual report to Parliament and to the nation, that will set out a comprehensive description of the national effort relating to the drug problem

x. ensuring the development of effective strategies on drug education

xi. liaison with the NCPS Ministers Committee where necessary

xii. acting as an authoritative adviser to Government on policies and programmes in the field of drug abuse and trafficking

xiii. reviewing the Master Plan on a five-yearly basis and amending it where necessary.

I.III Implementation

It is proposed that the Central Drug Authority implement the Master Plan in the following way:

Years one and two:

- Identify existing resources and ask Cabinet and government departments concerned to earmark further resources if, and where required.

- Strengthen existing provincial substance-abuse forums and establishing forums in provinces where they do not exist.

- Facilitate the setting-up of local drug action committee structures.

- Request government departments to draw up anti-drug abuse action plans in line with the goals of the Master Plan and to monitor existing action plans.

Years three to five:

l Monitor and facilitate the implementation of the Master Plan.

l Draw final conclusions on successes, failures and overall effectiveness of the 1999 - 2004 Master Plan.

l Draft next five-year Master Plan.


A Secretariat will be put into place to drive the administration involved in the implementation of the Master Plan. (The structure and functioning of the Secretariat will be discussed with all relevant departments.)


III.I Composition

It is proposed that these committees should be made up of senior representatives of the local magistrate’s court, police, probation and correctional services, schools, local authorities, health authorities and community structures, which will ensure appropriate coverage of both rural and urban communities.

The committees may co-opt additional members with special skills, commitment or expertise, if, and when required. Representation of local, rural traditional authorities should be encouraged.

Initially, the committees should be set up by the local magistrate (or a senior representative) of each district (although geographical boundaries may be kept flexible for practical purposes), after which the committees may elect a chairperson.

Minimum resources will be required for the infrastructure of these committees as existing resources of the representative departments can be accessed. Meetings can be conducted after hours, if necessary, in unutilised court buildings.

III.II Functions

The drug action committees will ensure local action on the Master Plan in each community and will inform and be kept informed. Each drug action committee will be charged with the task of

- drawing up its own action plan to tackle the drug problem in that area in co-operation with provincial and local departments and local government

- ensuring that its action plan is in line with the priorities and objectives of the Master Plan and that it is aligned with the strategies of government departments

- implementing its action plans

- giving regular reports to the Secretariat concerning its actions, progress and problems and other drug-related events in its area

- providing information the Central Drug Authority may, from time to time, require

- reporting formally to the Central Drug Authority on a yearly basis.


IV.I Composition

It is proposed that provincial drug forums involve all stakeholders concerned in the fields of education, community action, legislation and law enforcement, policy making, research and treatment.

In addition, the business community and any other body interested in addressing substance abuse can be involved.

It is recommended that such forums have executive committee members who include persons responsible for the following four portfolios:

a) Treatment and After-care.

b) Prevention and Education.

c) Community Development.

d) Legislation and Research and Information dissemination.

IV.II Functions

The main function of provincial drug forums is to strengthen member organisations in carrying out their existing functions related to directly or indirectly addressing substance abuse, and to keep substance abuse high on the public/political agenda of the province.

An important function of a provincial drug forum is to encourage networking and the effective flow of information between members of the forum.

When necessary, such a forum may act as a mouthpiece for member organisations.

With regard to the Master Plan, provincial drug forums will specifically work to put substance abuse on the public/political agenda, and to broadly assist the local drug action committees in the execution of their tasks.


Successful implementation of a national drug control strategy will require adequate and sustained funding at all levels. In general, there needs to be a balance in spending between demand and supply reduction.

Increased collaboration between Government and private and voluntary sectors is required. The fragmented response of the past, involving as it does duplication of effort, has been financially wasteful.

Where common goals exist, resources should be shared.

Chapter 5

The five areas of focus

Overarching objective: Consumer-friendly communication

South Africa has a population of approximately 38 million people who are distributed over nine provinces and who range in population from 746 000 (Northern Cape) to 7 672 000 (KwaZulu-Natal). It is estimated that 55,4 per cent of the population resides in urban areas and that the population has on average eight years of schooling or less, depending on the province in which they live.

There are 11 official languages, of which isiZulu, isiXhosa and Afrikaans are the most widely spoken first languages, followed by Sepedi and English. In addition, cultures and levels of literacy and economic well-being differ widely.

The cultural diversity in South Africa makes it unique in the world. Communication (and formulation) of policies and information aimed at addressing substance abuse in the country are more complex. South Africa must define both the problem and its solution in South African terms.

The South African National Drug Master Plan recognises that many previous anti-drug efforts failed to reach their target audience due to their inappropriate, viewer-insensitive presentation, and proposes that all information that is disseminated will (as far as is practically possible) be disseminated in a manner that is appropriate to the language, culture and literacy of its intended recipient.

Area 1: Crime

Drug issues manifest themselves at every level of the criminal justice system, from the level of the international trade in drugs, and the use of the proceeds of that trade for corrupt ends, right down to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Most crimes, however, are the culmination of a variety of factors (personal, situational, cultural and economic), and the precise relationship between substance abuse and crime is, therefore, hard to determine.

Essentially, crime is associated with both domains of the illicit drug phenomenon, namely supply and demand, and falls into the following three main categories:

- Crime committed due to the psychopharmacological effects of drugs ingested by the perpetrator, for example alcohol, certain stimulants and hallucinogens.

- Crime committed to feed the perpetrator’s expensive drug habit.

- Crime committed as a by-product of being involved in drugs and/or drug trafficking, for example violent disputes over territorial and other matters between rival drug gangs and violent confrontations between a frustrated community, police and drug dealers and syndicates.

There are five topics relevant to the discussion of substance abuse-related crime in South Africa: Legislation, Law Enforcement, the National Crime Prevention Strategy, Vision 2000 of the Department of Justice, and Decriminalisation.


The laws governing this field are:

- the Drugs and Drug-Trafficking Act, 1992 (Act 140 of 1992)

- the Prevention and Treatment of Drug Dependency Act, 1992 (Act 20 of 1992)

- the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (Act 51 of 1977)

- the Extradition Act, 1962 (Act 67 of 1962)

- the Medicines and Related Substances Control Act, 1965 (Act 101 of 1965)

- the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (Act 51 of 1977) with special reference to the Witness Protection Programme established in terms of section 185A of 1992

- the Extradition Amendment Act, 1996 (Act 77 of 1996)

- the International Co-operation in Criminal Matters Act, 1996 (Act 75 of 1996)

- the Proceeds of Crime Act, 1996 (Act 76 of 1996)

- Institute for Drug-Free Sport Act, 1997 (Act 14 of 1997)

- Road Transportation Act, 1977 (Act 74 of 1977).

The South African Law Commission, in its report International Co-operation in Criminal Prosecutions, made a comprehensive study of international co-operation in criminal prosecutions. The report is divided into five topics, namely:

- obtaining evidence from foreign states

- supplying evidence to foreign states

- transferring the proceeds of crime

- carrying out foreign penal orders and sentences

- extraditing.

The 1996 Acts referred to above have given effect to these recommendations.

A central office has been established within the Department of Justice which will receive and channel letters of request to and from foreign states.

The Commonwealth Scheme for the Rendition of Fugitive Offenders is a policy guideline to regulate extradition relations between members of the Commonwealth. The implementation of the guidelines requires that members of the Commonwealth should bring their domestic legislation into line with the scheme, bringing about uniformity of legislation between members states, which then forms the basis for extradition relations between them without the existence of extradition treaties. With South Africa’s return to the Commonwealth, the Extradition Amendment Act, 1996, among others things, brings the Extradition Act, 1962, into line with the scheme.

The enactment of further legislation to define and criminalise money laundering, as well as to make provision for a Financial Intelligence Centre and Money Laundering Control Board, is envisaged. Legislation relating to organised crime syndicates and stronger mechanisms for asset forfeiture is also being considered at present.


The South African Narcotics Bureau (SANAB) was established in 1974 to combat the drug menace in an organised manner. During 1995, its activities were divided into crimes involving large drug-trafficking syndicates, to be dealt with by the Organised Crime Project Investigations Unit, and the remainder of the drug-dealing cases and cases of possession, to be handled by the traditional SANAB units.

SANAB underwent another significant restructuring in late 1996, which put all SANAB officers throughout the country back under the direction of the central office. SANAB officers have also been selected to fill the seven new international drug liaison officer positions and underwent diplomatic training in advance of their assignments abroad.

The functions of SANAB are to:

- investigate all aspects pertaining to organised drug trafficking, both nationally and internationally, in terms of the Drugs and Drug-Trafficking Act, 1992. Units are also required to conduct project-related investigations on syndicates.

- investigate and regulate financial transgressions in terms of the Drugs and Drug-Trafficking Act, 1992, and the Proceeds of Crime Act, 1996

- investigate all aspects pertaining to clandestine laboratories used to manufacture and supply illicit drugs

- execute cannabis eradication programmes: areas where the cannabis plant is cultivated gained international recognition in June 1998, at the United Nations, as areas which should be considered for alternative development programmes in addition to the areas where coca leaf and opium poppy are grown

- investigate all aspects pertaining to the organised theft of medicines in terms of the Control of Medicines Act, 1965

- investigate all aspects pertaining to the illicit use of precursors and essential chemicals to manufacture drugs and medicines, in accordance with the 1988 United Nations Convention Against Illicit Drug Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (to which South Africa is expected to accede during 1998) (discussed in more detail under Area 5)

- execute SANAB Head Office function of serving as a national coordination centre for many international and national drug-related matters, including participation in conferences, both nationally and internationally and interacting in various international spheres (see under Area 5). The South African Police Service (SAPS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the intelligence agencies (National Intelligence Agency, the South African Secret Service and Military Intelligence) aimed at supporting the SAPS in combating organised crime. National intelligence efforts are coordinated through the National Intelligence Coordinating Committee (NICOC).


The policies of the previous South African Government demanded a high level of internal and external controls which restricted movement of the majority of the population and involved the extensive use of the army in border-control activities. This tended to limit the trafficking in narcotic substances, both within the country and across South Africa’s borders. With regard to the criminal justice and correctional systems, considerable effort was also put into incarcerating offenders and very little effort went into their rehabilitation, or into crime prevention in general.

The National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS) was initiated by the Cabinet in March 1996 and is primarily a long-term programme aimed at creating conditions in which the opportunities and motivation for crime will be reduced, as well as improving the capacity of the criminal justice system to deal with crime. It is an ongoing programme of action which is being implemented by a wide range of departments, including Justice, Welfare, Correctional Services, Defence, Safety and Security, and Intelligence.

The NCPS has identified and prioritised seven key crime categories, namely:

- crimes involving firearms

- organised crime, including the organised smuggling of illegal immigrants and narcotics, and gangsterism, which serve to generate higher levels of criminality and violence

- white-collar crime

- gender violence and crimes against children

- violence associated with intergroup conflict, such as political conflicts, taxi violence and land disputes

- vehicle theft and hijacking

- corruption within the criminal justice system.

Besides the above, the abuse of elderly people is also a serious crime.

The NCPS departments are developing strategic and operational coordination through the establishment of two committees: one dealing with the reduction of the illicit supply of and trafficking in narcotics, the other with the reduction of illicit demand. Information from these committees will be provided to the Central Drug Authority to assist with the refinement of its policies and plans, and in order to ensure that performance targets are adhered to.


The Department of Justice has drafted a framework for the transformation of the administration of justice in South Africa. The plan marks the start of an annual planning process and is intended to help monitor progress and identify changing circumstances and priorities.

Six key areas have been selected to form the foundation of the future South African justice system, namely:

- an integrated coherent and representative department

- access to justice for all

- safety, security and freedom from crime

- legitimate, representative and people-friendly courts and other structures that

administer justice

- effective and efficient education, training and information systems

- a well-trained, representative and evenly distributed legal profession.

In monitoring the attainment of these six strategic goals, performance indicators have been set, such as the ratio and time between:

- crimes reported and arrests made

- arrests made and prosecutions instituted

- prosecutions instituted and convictions

- sentences imposed and the length of time served.

The Department of Justice, in collaboration with other departments, also aims to increase the number of offenders referred to and entering treatment and other programmes by way of arrest referral schemes, the court process and post-sentencing provisions.

A witness protection programme is up and running to reduce the possibility of intimidation in, inter alia, drug-related offences and especially those involving organised crime syndicates.

Where substance abuse-related common interests and shared goals exist between Vision 2000 and the Master Plan, resources should be made available to the Central Drug Authority for the attainment of these goals.


The Department of Correctional Services is in the process of looking at the problem of drug-abuse arrestees and prisoners.

Significant intervention can exist and research conducted into the crime-drug connection between arrested and incarcerated persons, many of whom go on to commit further crimes. Research conducted by Roche-Silva (October 1996) on sentenced males has indicated that, before their sentence, offenders’ way of life was generally characterised by prolonged high-risk drug practices. Most importantly, incarceration did not interrupt drug use, but redirected prearrest patterns.

An arrestee drug-abuse monitoring programme would satisfy five broad aims, namely:

- assess drug-use behaviour as it relates to crime, area and trends in combination with other factors such as HIV status, gang activity and poverty

- ascertain perceptions of crime and attitudes toward law enforcement, drug abuse and current intervention programmes

- identify opportunities for, and inform methods of, intervention by the police, criminal justice system, correctional services and health and welfare sectors

- disseminate information among this significant (captive) portion of the population, in terms of the drug-crime connection.



There has been much debate regarding the issue of whether or not fewer drug-related offences, such as the possession or use of cannabis, will or should be legalised. However, the issue of decriminalisation needs to be researched thoroughly to establish whether this is the way the matter should be dealt with in South Africa.

What is envisaged, however, is the development of suitable methods to deal with appropriate cases (for example, involving the once-off experimentation with drugs by a young person) outside the criminal justice system, with emphasis on education, treatment, after-care, rehabilitation and social reintegration.

Harm reduction

Harm reduction should not be confused with arguments about drug legalisation or decriminalisation. As spelt out in an International Council on Alcohol and Addictions (ICAA) policy discussion paper, the focus of harm reduction is to reduce and prevent the harmful effects of the use of alcohol and other drugs (ICAA, 1994).

According to the ICAA, this goal can be pursued with many strategies including those focused on drug-free living. Because it is unlikely that a totally ‘drug-free’ society would ever be attainable, approaches to harm reduction do not presume abstinence in the short term, but instead make provision for potentially controversial initiatives such as needle-exchange programmes to reduce the spread of HIV infection among intravenous drug users and methadone maintenance treatment to treat opium dependence.

The focus is on reducing the harm associated with drug use rather than on reducing or eliminating drug use per se.

Approaches to secondary and tertiary prevention which have been referred to as ‘harm reduction’ should be considered as elements in an overall strategy to reach this goal, together with supply and approaches to demand reduction.

Area 2: Youth

The children of our country occupy a special place in the new democracy and in the heart of President Nelson Mandela. Therefore, on 16 June 1995, South Africa ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the declaration emanating from the World Summit for Children in December 1993, and in so doing committed itself to the principle of 'First Call for Children' in all areas.

The Ministers of Health, Welfare, Education, Water Affairs and Forestry, Justice and Finance were mandated to give effect to these international instruments. The Department of Justice was mandated to deal with children in the criminal and civil justice system.

The Justice Sectoral Working Group which consists of representatives of the departments of Justice (playing the leading role), Welfare, Correctional Services and the SAPS, as well as the NGOs concerned and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) began functioning in 1995 and focuses, inter alia, on the

- establishment of a separate juvenile criminal justice system

- protection and rehabilitation of children from the use of, and trafficking in, narcotic drugs.

Thus a new process has been developed which attempts to divert juvenile offenders in appropriate cases out of the criminal justice system and to provide alternative forms of punishment or treatment. This process is particularly relevant in the area of juvenile substance abuse, and the need for more institutions which will serve as an alternative to imprisonment is crucial.

It is estimated that approximately 46 per cent of the population of South Africa are aged 20 years and younger (Central Statistical Services, 1997). Using other data, it is estimated that approximately half the population are poor and half of them, again, are children.

In a national survey of 1 378 African youth aged 10 to 21 years from urban and rural areas of South Africa, Rocha-Silva, de Miranda & Erasmus (1996) found that besides cannabis use by urban males (5,5%) very little current use of illicit drugs was reported by either males or females in either the urban or rural samples. Within the combined sample, self-reported lifetime use of various substances was as follows: LSD (1,9%), methaqualone (1,7%), cocaine (0,9%), heroin (0,9%), Ecstasy (0,1%), opiates other than heroin (2,1%) and steroids (2,0%).

More localised research, however, conducted in 1997 among a representative sample of 2 779 grade 8 and 11 students of all races from 38 high schools in Cape Town undertaken by the University of Cape Town (UCT) and the MRC (Flisher, Parry, Evans, Lombard & Muller, 1998), found rates of lifetime use of cannabis as high as 32% in males in grade 11. Lifetime use of glue appears to be fairly high, but, except for females in grade 11, is lower than that of cannabis. Excluding glue sniffing among females, rates of drug use were higher among grade 11 students than students in grade 8.

With regard to lifetime use of different drugs, prevalence rates appeart to be higher among males for both grades and all substances, with the exception of Ecstasy use among females in grade 8. For students in grade 8, prevalence rates of drugs appear to be highest in white students followed by coloured and then African students.

Race difference are less pronounced in grade 11, except for African females who have lower rates of lifetime use of cannabis, 'white pipes', glue and crack cocaine. Lifetime use of IV drugs was 1,3% for males and 0,6% for females in grade 11. A similar study was undertaken among 7 340 high school students in 16 schools in Cape Town in 1990 (Flisher et al., 1993). While the study designs are not entirely comparable, the lifetime use of cannabis among grade 11 students appears to have doubled over the seven years in both males and females. Binge-drinking levels also rose considerably in both grades.

In a study using data from the United States National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, Yamada, Kendix and Yamada (1996) found that increases in the incidence of frequent drinking, liquor and wine consumption, and frequent cannabis use significantly reduce the probability of high-school graduation.

Specific treatment services need to be targeted at young people as their needs are likely to be different from those of adults. For example, young people hold a dependent position in family and society; they are more influenced by peers and popular culture; they often need education or vocational training; and are more likely to be using other drugs.

The National Youth Commission (NYC) was established by the Youth Act, 1996, and is based in the Office of the Deputy President. This body’s primary aim is to assist the government in planning a comprehensive youth development policy with reference, inter alia, to substance abuse.

There are a range of other initiatives directed towards preventing substance abuse among young people in South Africa. The following is a list of some of them:


In May 1995, the national and provincial departments of Welfare embarked upon a national school-based education initiative, I’m addicted to life, aimed at teen- agers between the ages of 11 and 20 years. The television series involved 13 x 9-minute episodes and 13 x 2-minute endorsements which were flighted in the afternoons and evenings. Thirteen 3-minute radio spots in 11 languages were also produced. In addition, 13 x 30-second personality endorsements were produced and flighted. Anti-drug posters were produced and distributed to every school in the country and an anti-drug pledge campaign was initiated. Information leaflets were also produced and distributed to schools. The campaign has also been expanded to include a video and teacher’s manual.

The Go Project is in operation and aims to assess juveniles in an attempt to prevent their incarceration in prisons or places of safety whilst they are awaiting trial. This project acknowledges the need to protect juvenile substance-abuse offenders from the prison environment which is, unfortunately, conducive to substance abuse.

Legislative changes now seek to ensure that children under the age of 18 years may not be kept in a prison, lock-up or police cells for more than 24 hours prior to appearing in court.

In 1997, 3 000 juveniles were diverted out of the system by the Department of Social Welfare in collaboration with the Department of Justice.


The national Department of Education is currently involved in implementing its Curriculum 2005 initiative. This includes a lifeskills education component which seeks to address adolescent risk behaviours, such as drug use and teenage sexuality, as part of a holistic initiative aimed at the healthy development of young people. The International Centre for Alcohol Policies (ICAP), which is based in Washington, is also working with the provincial Department of Education in the North-West Province (and in Botswana) to design a lifeskills education programme aimed at primary school-age children. The project specifically involves (i) developing lifeskills materials for use in five schools, (ii) training teachers in the use of these materials, and (iii) testing these materials in the teacher’s classroom for one academic year.

The Culture of Learning, Teaching and Service (COLTS) Campaign, initiated by President Nelson Mandela in February 1997, addresses, inter alia, crime and substance abuse within the context of schools.

The Master Plan encourages schools and institutions in Further Education and Training (FET) and Higher Education (HE) to take responsibility for substance-abuse problems found among their learners. Too often, the problem presented by a learner who is involved in substance abuse or trafficking is ‘solved’ through expulsion. Rather than solve the problem, this unfortunate course of action merely displaces it and, in certain instances, aggravates it. Wherever possible, therefore, drugs must be tackled together in the classroom or lecture room rather than the court room, and schools or institutions should have their own internal disciplinary systems and programmes.

Substance abuse can be very directly addressed within the Life Orientation Learning Area. It is also naturally a part of the Life Skills and HIV/AIDS Education Programme.

The effective management of the school and institutional environment is an essential contribution to drug control.


Soul City is a multi-media health education/counter-advertising initiative seeking to address a range of risk behaviours, including alcohol and smoking, through a very popular prime-time sitcom aired on TV as well as on radio (in the vernacular), and via the print media (a handbook serialised in newspapers).

As a result of an evaluation of the second series of Soul City on tobacco, Aids, TB and housing (by CASE – the Community Agency for Social Enquiry) it was noted that:

- the TV series was rated second among the total adult population

- 51 per cent of Africans watched it regularly

- 61 per cent of the people sampled saw, read or listened to Soul City

- 70 per cent of 16 - 24 year-olds sampled saw, read or listened to Soul City

- 51 per cent of people with no formal education sampled saw, read or listened to Soul City.


The Association for Responsible Alcohol Use (ARA) has been involved in running the Buddy Campaign on university and technikon campuses for almost a decade. The objective is to focus the minds of the youth on the dangers of alcohol misuse and abuse. ARA members have also supported lifeskills education programmes around the country. These programmes reach some 1 000 schools. The Buddy Campaign was evaluated by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in 1993 and it was noted that there was an increase in the awareness of the dangers of alcohol misuse among young people as a result of the programme.


The Programmes of Primary Prevention through Stories (POPPETS) programme is aimed at the pre-primary and early primary school child (primarily 5 - 9 years old). Puppets, stories and games are used to educate the child. Information on alcohol and drugs is provided as well as skills training to address issues such as self-image and peer pressure. The Teenagers Against Drug Abuse (TADA) programme involves the setting-up of youth action groups in high schools or youth groups (after hours). It aims to prevent substance abuse among peers and promotes exciting alternatives. SANCA acts as the facilitator, providing groups with training and support. Young people are encouraged to take an increasingly greater responsibility for running the TADA groups.


A new initiative has been started in Cape Town and should involve approximately 50 schools. The programme is being implemented by CTDCC with funding from USAID, the Royal Netherlands Embassy, and the Transitional Development Trust (TNDT). The key components of this programme comprise:

- initial briefing sessions to all teaching and guidance staff in each school

- drug education and prevention workshops delivered to school students

- a six-week course for guidance teachers at CTDCC

- an educational video on drug prevention to be provided to each school

- a teacher’s manual, information leaflets and posters to be provided to each school.

The primary strengths of this initiative are the:

- six-month involvement with each school

- comprehensive training of one guidance teacher from each school at CTDCC

- development of rapid referral arrangements from schools for drug-dependent pupils

- provision of library resources to each school, such as lifeskills videos, teachers manuals, and reference literature.

VII Lions Quest Skills for Adolescents Programme (LIONS INTERNATIONAL)

This project runs in various parts of the country. In the Western Cape alone, this programme is currently running in more than 45 schools. The Lions Quest Skills for Adolescents Programme is designed to combat alcohol and drug abuse among young people by teaching them social lifeskills. The focus of the programme is not on the substance-abuse problem but rather on the proposed causes of the problem; issues such as poor self-image, inability to resist peer pressure, poor family relationships, lack of decision-making skills and poor communication ability. The main objective is, therefore, to teach adolescent youth pro-social skills, thereby giving them the opportunity to be who and what they themselves want to be.


Many other school-based and after-school initiatives have been established by various governmental organisations and NGOs. Many involve one-off lectures. Some include evaluation forms which are filled in by the students, and which assess the quality of the programme in terms of whether the students found the input useful. A number of these programmes are listed below by the agency providing the service:

- Bridges: a school-based programme in the Western Cape run by recovering addicts.

- South African Police Services: members give talks in schools (national).

- Narcotics Anonymous (NA): runs peer education programmes in various schools nationally. The Drug-free Marshals Programme is sponsored by the Church of Scientology. Marshals are drawn from the ranks of primary and high schools. They are expected to follow a drug-free lifestyle, which involves showing their friends how much more fun a drug-free lifestyle can be. They are also charged with learning more about drugs, their harmful effects, and how to get information across in an exciting format. More than 30 schools across South Africa have signed up marshals.

- Drug-wise counsellors: involving members of Community Pharmacists of South Africa, give talks in schools and prepare educational materials on a national basis.

- Horizon Programme: This programme is run as a Christian ministry. It has

215 branches and approximately 6 200 members.

Alcohol Drug Concerns (ADC).

International Order of True Templars (IOTT).

Youth for Christ (national).


There are various programmes for street children designed to address the many problems facing them, including substance abuse, for example Street Wise in Johannesburg and the Homestead Programme in Cape Town.


The Department of Health is currently working on the following projects:

- developing substance-abuse manuals for integration into Curriculum 2005.

- presenting ongoing awareness youth campaigns.

- a five-year community-based project, aimed at the primary prevention of substance abuse among young people, funded by UNDCP through WHO/PSA.


Alcohol Safety Schools have been established in various parts of the country. Talks and video presentations are given to individuals who have been referred by the courts.


Although coordinating structures exist in respect of the approach towards the youth, the Master Plan will seek to refine the various strategies and monitor performance.

Too often the accusation is levelled by the communities that nothing is being done for the children. The Master Plan will seek to inform parents on an annual basis of what is being done by everyone.

Major gaps still exist with regard to a comprehensive approach to the prevention of youth substance abuse, especially in the rural areas.

It must always be remembered, however, that the State can assist, but never take the place of the parents. Parents can only be helped to help themselves.

Children are not born drug abusers and it remains the task of parents to teach their children values during the early formative years before peer pressure and other influences intervene.

Area 3: Community Health and Welfare

How does substance abuse impact on community health and welfare?

Substance abuse has a negative impact on many areas of individual and community life including health, security and the economy.

Local research has shown

- a clear link between substance abuse and fatal and non-fatal trauma, particularly trauma resulting from motor-vehicle collisions and interpersonal violence

- that rates of foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) in rural/semi-rural areas of the Western Cape of 4,8 per cent have been reported by the Foundation for Alcohol-related Research (FARR). The rate of FAS typically found in Western countries is of the order of 0,2 per cent indicating a substantially greater prevalence of this syndrome in South Africa (Shaw, personal communication).

- that 20 per cent to 30 per cent of hospital admissions are estimated to be directly or indirectly related to the abuse of alcohol

- that, according to the UNDCP, inappropriate use of narcotic drugs is estimated to cost countries between 0,5 - 1,3 per cent of their gross domestic product (GDP) per annum. For South Africa this would amount to between R2,5 and R7,1 billion.

- that the best estimate of the economic cost of alcohol misuse to South Africa, based largely upon the experience of other countries, is 2 per cent of the Gross National Product (GNP) per annum, that is, about R10,6 billion at 1996 levels or R279 per person per year (Parry and Bennetts, 1998).

The impact of substance abuse use goes well beyond the issues covered here. However, it affects important areas such as school performance, health, family life, productivity, and safety and security.

How is community health and welfare protected from the consequences of substance abuse?

In the past, efforts by the State to address substance abuse have focused largely on control measures falling under the jurisdiction of the law enforcement and justice sectors. In addition, the State, through welfare agencies such as SANCA, provided resources for the treatment of people suffering from substance-abuse problems.

The Resource Directory on Services and Facilities for the Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse (published by the Department of Welfare during November 1997) shows a wide network of public and private substance-abuse treatment facilities (see Figure 2), including some

- 300 organisations where support and after-care are provided

- 67 community treatment services

- 147 provincial and private hospitals and psychiatric hospitals

- 12 detoxification facilities

- 25 specialist in-patient units/half-way houses.

Province Support/ In-patient/ Community Provincial/ Detoxifi-

After-care Half-way services Private and cation

houses psychiatric facilities


Eastern Cape 22 4 5 14 -

Free State 30 1 3 4 1

Gauteng 49 24 24 17 2

KwaZulu-Natal 22 7 7 4 4

Mpumalanga 40 2 5 20 1

Northern Cape 11 - 3 6 -

Northern Province 7 2 2 42 -

North-West 24 2 2 35 2

Western Cape 7 5 16 5 2

TOTAL 302 27 67 147 12

Figure 2. Number of treatment and rehabilitation facilities (by province)

NOTE: Some facilities are listed in more than one category (i.e. support/after-care and community services)

SOURCE: Information obtained from the Department of Welfare (1997).

There are numerous shortcomings in the provision of services (Parry and Bennetts, 1998):

- While there is a relatively high number of these services in urban areas, areas such as the overcrowded townships, informal settlements and rural areas are grossly under-serviced.

- No specialised in-patient treatment facilities are indicated for the Northern Cape.

- Detoxification services, at hospitals in particular, are generally inadequate or non-existent.

- Insufficient funds and lack of personnel threaten existing services and their further development, while after-care services providing for the reintegration of patients into the community are either inadequate or not available.

- A number of key facilities have recently closed, for example the Drug Unit at Lentegeur Hospital in Cape Town.

Services are typically provided mainly by social workers, as well as by nurses, doctors and other health workers and several of the centres are run by religious organisations.

Traditional healers also provide treatment for people with problems of abuse and dependence, although very little is known about the patients they see or the nature of the treatment they provide.


The Department of Health has positioned itself towards strengthening substance-abuse prevention and management.

- The department has restructured Mental Health to include substance abuse explicitly (in all nine provincial and regional health departments).

- It has established expert committees for matters such as addressing alcohol advertisement, warning labels and health messages.

- The integration of substance abuse within the primary health-care services has been addressed by the Department of Health’s White Paper for Transformation of the Health System in South Africa, 1997, with emphasis placed upon community-based health services and research.

- A discussion document for the Substance-Abuse Policy Guidelines has been formulated and focuses on the community-based treatment approach, integration of substance abuse into school curricula from pre-school to tertiary level, youth, facilities and services for the treatment and rehabilitation (e.g. detoxification facilities and services), and workplace substance abuse.

- The improvement of accessibility, availability and equity for treatment is in the process of being addressed through a proposed Draft Primary Health-Care Model. The model deals with access points into the facilities and services for substance-abuse prevention and management

- The Department of Health acknowledges that public awareness on the detrimental effects of substance abuse needs to be parallel with proper accessibility to treatment facilities and services for effective harm reduction.


The Department of Welfare completed a lengthy series of consultative meetings and released the final draft of its National Substance-Abuse Strategy in the second half of 1996 in a White Paper.

The White Paper provides general guidelines on how the welfare sector will address substance abuse. In particular

- it calls for an inter-sectoral approach

- it stresses the importance of international networking

- in terms of prevention, it calls for communities to take greater responsibility

- it stresses that media campaigns are needed for public education

- education programmes will be targeted at school-going children, the youth and parents

- secondary prevention will focus on high-risk groups, using mechanisms such as employee-assistance programmes and youth forums

- tertiary prevention will focus on vulnerable and high-risk groups and disadvantaged communities, and will attend to the development and promotion of community-based treatment approaches, especially those that promote empowerment and self-help

- specialised accredited training units will be established to provide adequate training of substance-abuse forums at national, regional and local levels which, among other things, will lobby for the establishment of effective services, as well as for the establishment of a representative, consultative and coordinating body to foster partnerships and ensure the implementation of a national strategic plan for combating substance abuse

- Develop prevention and treatment services for children and youth who are using and abusing volatile substances.

There are, however, certain specifics which still need to be addressed, such as the role of provincial and district-level structures.

The departments of Health and Welfare have also played an important role in setting up the South African Alliance for the Prevention of Substance Abuse (SAAPSA – see the section on Research and the Dissemination of Information).


In October 1997, the Department of Transport initiated a comprehensive Arrive Alive programme in three provinces focusing, inter alia, on drunk driving.

The department is also expected to pass legislation in 1998 reducing permissible blood-alcohol concentration levels in drivers to 0,05 g/100 ml and to 0,02 g/100 ml for professional drivers. It is anticipated that breath-alcohol testing will shortly be held to be admissible in evidence against so-called drunk drivers.


The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport will, in close co-operation and association with similar organisations elsewhere in the world, promote participation in sport free from the use of substances intended to artificially enhance sporting performances. This will be done in a manner consistent with protecting the well-being of athletes as well as in line with the articles as stipulated in the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport Act, Act No 14 of 1997. Key focus areas will be the following:

- Education programmes to increase the skills and knowledge base on drugs in sport-related issues of all stakeholders .

- A dope testing/control programme to increase the perceived risk of being selected for a drug test.

- A policy, investigation and appeal process that provides for a comprehensive response to the drug-in-sport issue.

- A planning and research programme that provides information and options to optimise the effectiveness of the Drug-Free Sport initiative.

- A corporate service programme that maintains efficient and appropriate support systems and practices.


The Government’s Growth, Employment and Redistribution strategy, better known as GEAR, has the following goals:

- To facilitate a new economic system that ensures a competitive and fast-growing economy which will create enough jobs for South Africans who are currently unemployed.

- To redistribute income and opportunities in favour of the poor.

- To develop a society in which sound health, education and other services are available to all.

- To create an environment in which homes are secure and places of work are productive.

These are goals ostensibly similar to those of the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP), with GEAR qualified as the economic-enabling mechanism achieving them.

Underlying GEAR are two core strategies:

- The promotion of redistribution by creating jobs.

- Reallocating resources through the National Budget. The two main objectives of GEAR are to facilitate economic growth at 6 per cent per annum by the year 2000, and to create 400 000 jobs per year.

The success of GEAR will go a long way towards indirectly addressing the causes of substance abuse, namely, poverty, lack of suitable substitute activities and personal fulfilment. However, where the Master Plan coincides with, or complements the goals of GEAR, the Central Drug Authority will consider approaching GEAR for an allocation of resources.


There is a great need for training health and welfare professionals including doctors, nurses, social workers and psychologists on the topic of addiction. It is important that doctors and other health-care workers, particularly primary health-care nurses, recognise the part played by substance abuse in their patients’ problems, and are able to deal with these problems in a non-judgmental way.

Professionals from other sectors, such as the police, personnel officers, clergy, lawyers, Correctional Services officials, prosecutors and teachers also need to be trained. This should, for example, include training in how to recognise abuse and dependence and where to refer persons in need of treatment and rehabilitation. The Master Plan proposes that such a training course be included in as wide a range of curricula as possible.

The lack of appropriate training in the subject of substance abuse has also led to unsatisfactory and confusing results and consequences. The Master Plan proposes that a professional licensing or qualification board be constituted with accredited standards of skills training in the various aspects of ‘addictive management’.

Basic requirements of appropriate training in this field are professionalism of teaching staff, the setting of clear objectives, the teaching of systematic assessment, teaching of motivational skills and the development of relationships of trust. Training requires adequate materials, extensive practical experience in drug abuse and adequate communication skills as well as a proper basis for providing adequate funding for logistics and resources.


- The precise role of district, provincial or public sector level structures needs to be addressed. In particular, substantial changes are required at a primary health care and school level to ensure the adequate training of primary health care and school staff in the detection, management and referral of substance-abuse cases.

- The primary health-care system does not appear to be functioning properly in the sense that insufficient numbers of persons with substance-abuse problems are being detected and managed at that level.

- Community-based treatment and development should be promoted, particularly in under-serviced areas.

- Services to under-serviced communities should be expanded through community-based strategies. Existing residential facilities, which are not being fully utilised, need to become more efficient and effective in meeting needs.

Area 4: Research and Communication

Why is research needed?

Rational policy-making about drugs, whether at the international, national or community level, requires a detailed knowledge of the profile of problems for the user and for others associated with particular drugs. The profile will vary from place to place, as well as over time, and a programme of epidemiological monitoring, both of the patterns of harm and of patterns of use, will be an important part of the process. Monitoring is needed, not only to establish the extent of the need for services, and for prevention programmes, but also to identify ways in which particular kinds of drug-related harm can be reduced (World Health Organization [WHO] Expert Committee on Drug Dependence, 1993).

This approach was reaffirmed by the UN Declaration on the Guiding Principles of Drug Demand Reduction, adopted at the General Assembly’s special session on drugs in New York in June 1998 (Annexure 1).

Historically, South Africa has not had very reliable systems in place to facilitate the collection of data relating to substance use. To date, much of the available information has come from ad hoc cross-sectional research studies often conducted in a single location and from information on police arrests and seizures. This has been supplemented by occasional national surveys.

There are large gaps in our knowledge in important areas such as the prevalence of drug use by different groups, in different parts of the country; the economic costs of substance abuse to the country; the relationship between substance abuse and important national issues (e.g. HIV/Aids, TB, crime, youth development and poverty); and effective community-based intervention approaches and the impact of current policies.

What research is needed?

... generally:

The following categories of research are required:

- Research for advocacy purposes: Research primarily aimed at putting substance abuse on the public policy agenda and at influencing funding decisions.

- Descriptive studies: Research describing substance-use patterns and assessing risk factors among certain high-risk populations, such as young people, workers in certain occupations and pregnant women.

- Intervention and operational research: Further research is required to make closer and better matches between substance abusers and specific treatment programmes, taking into account factors such as age, gender, culture, social experience, geographic location and level of education, and to make appropriate modifications (where necessary) to imported internationally developed treatment models. The role and methods employed by traditional healers and their place in mainstream health care, for example, should also investigated.

- Policy evaluation research: Aimed at directly measuring the impact of legislative changes.

- More research is required in the field of drugs and gender. The Commission on Narcotic Drugs adopted a Resolution on Women and Drug Abuse in 1995. The Resolution calls upon governments to take into account in their programmes the specific problems drug abuse poses to women and to respond in an innovative way to the problem. Specific concern was expressed over the dangerous effects of substance abuse on pregnancy and the harmful behavioural and social consequences of drug abuse on the family. During the 1999 session of the Commission on the Status of Women, the focus will be on health issues affecting women. An essential part of the review on health will be to determine how and why women are increasingly victims of drug and substance abuse.

... for the National Drug Master Plan:

Implementation of an effective Drug Master Plan will also require the development and maintenance of sophisticated information systems at various levels, namely:

- A clearinghouse of local and international information regarding intervention approaches, in the fields of both supply reduction and demand reduction, should be set up. This information could be provided by the Secretariat to a wide range of concerned and interested agencies, departments and persons.

- Ongoing information on substance-abuse trends from various quarters (treatment centres, the police, emergency rooms, schools and mortuaries) is required

> to identify changes in the nature and extent of consumption patterns,

> to identify the negative consequences associated with substance abuse,

> to assess the efficacy of public health interventions,

> to monitor the nature and extent of initiatives and resources directed at addressing substance abuse (Parry and Bhana, 1997).

- Management-type information is needed to monitor activities undertaken as part of the National Drug Master Plan and to account for money and other resources expended.

- The Master Plan itself is an instrument of intervention which must be evaluated, that is, the effectiveness and progress of activities associated with the Master Plan must be ascertained and, after some time has passed (3 - 5 years), an evaluation of the impact of the Master Plan must be determined. Key performance indicators for each goal will need to be specified in advance.

The Integrated Justice System Project will lay the foundation for the smooth flow of information between the criminal justice departments.

Which research engines are already operating?

Science Councils:

- Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)

This research body concentrates mainly on industrial and scientific research aspects. In the field of substance abuse, its research has mainly concentrated on alcohol and drug-related traffic infringements, including sampling of drivers and pedestrians on our roadways.

- Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

This research institute researches all aspects of substance abuse through its Centre for Alcohol/Drug-Related Research. Its research includes major surveys that target specific population groups, national surveys and expert analysis of valid statistical data.

- Medical Research Council (MRC)

This institution is primarily engaged in epidemiological research into the nature and extent of alcohol and other drug use, and in measuring the health impact of the misuse of alcohol and other drugs. Another key focus of the MRC is in the area of formulating local and national policy. There are three divisions directly involved in conducting research in the substance-abuse area: the National Trauma Research Programme, the Health Consulting Office, and the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Division (also involved in the running of SACENDU – see later).


- South African universities are playing an active role in substance abuse-related research, more particularly the universities of Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Durban-Westville. NGOs such as SANCA, the South African Brain Research Institute (SABRI) and the Centre for Alcohol and Drug Studies have also been active in substance-abuse research.

Several new systems have been initiated which should lead to more valid and reliable information on substance abuse in future. These include:

- The South African Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (SACENDU)

SACENDU is a network of people from a variety of different sectors (e.g. law enforcement, health and welfare treatment services, and public health research) that meets biannually to present and discuss information about existing and emerging substance-abuse patterns and consequences. The network, currently comprising over 50 organisations in four sentinel sites (Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Gauteng), was established by the MRC in collaboration with the University of Durban-Westville in 1996 with the technical assistance of the World Health Organisation’s Programme on Substance Abuse (WHO/PSA) and the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Data sources have included primary or secondary substances of abuse reported by clients at admission to specialist alcohol or drug treatment facilities; admission or discharge diagnosis reported by acute psychiatric treatment facilities; alcohol or drug-related deaths reported by mortuaries; alcohol or drug-related trauma unit visits; arrests, seizure, and price data obtained from SANAB and the Crime Information Management Centre (CIMC); and alcohol or drug-use behaviour reported from surveys of high school students. Such data are complemented by qualitative research with sex workers, persons attending rave parties, and street children.

- Crime Information Management Centre (CIMC)

This centre was established in 1996 and is charged with the ‘coordinating, processing, analysis and interpretation of crime information and intelligence in order to facilitate the combating of crime by means of effective and holistic crime information management’ (CIMC, 1997). On a quarterly basis, CIMC releases national, provincial and district-level statistics by 32 crime categories, including ‘drug-related crime’ and ‘driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs’.

- South African Alliance for the Prevention of Substance Abuse (SAAPSA)

SAAPSA was established in 1995 with the assistance of WHO/PSA, the ICAA, and the International Order of Good Templars (IOGT) and includes members from over 70 organisations. Its goal is to ‘facilitate networking among all organisations, government and civil society, concerned with drug and alcohol abuse in South Africa with the view to optimising co-operation in the prevention and treatment of alcohol and drug abuse in order to improve the quality of life and to promote peace and development for all South Africans’ (Turner, 1996, p. 7).

- South African Researcher-Practitioner (SARPA)

SARPA comprises members of various government departments, private institutions as well as community-based organisations. Its vision is to sustain an ‘inclusive multi-sectoral forum of researchers and practitioners that facilitate community-driven research-based policy formation and service provision regarding drug-related prevention and treatment in South Africa’ (Drug Advisory Board, 1997, p. 22). SARPA has recently managed a project to pull together national surveillance data on substance abuse in South Africa (Rocha-Silva, 1998).

- National Information System for Social Welfare (NISWEL)

The Department of Welfare is in the process of developing a National Information System for Social Welfare which, among other things, will include indicators on substance-abuse treatment demand and prevention services at a national level.


In general, there is a need to improve the management and coordination of substance-abuse research in South Africa, to ensure that adequate funding is secured to support research efforts, and to ensure the widespread dissemination of the findings of locally derived research.

Area 5: International involvement

An international problem impacting on South Africa

As stated previously, the illicit drug dilemma is not that of South(ern) Africa alone, but is one which virtually no country has been spared. Not only does each country have its own problems of drug availability, each one is also linked in the elaborate web woven by drug producers and traffickers as they ply their trade in an increasingly well-policed and competitive market. Raw materials produced in one country are often processed, refined and sold in yet others.

Though seizures and statistics are elusive, there is growing concern over cocaine smuggled from South America (particularly Brazil) to South Africa, either directly or through Angola, Namibia, or Zimbabwe. Large amounts of this cocaine are re-exported to Europe. West African trafficking organisations control an estimated 80 per cent of this trade.

Heroin from Southwest and Southeast Asia is also routed to South Africa for onward shipment to Europe and the US. West African, Chinese, Indian and Pakistani groups are thought to be active in heroin smuggling.

South Africa is the destination for Mandrax smuggled from India through other Eastern and Southern African countries. According to SANAB, 80 per cent of the Mandrax produced worldwide is consumed in South Africa.

It is important to recognise the global orientation of the illicit drug problem and the need for South Africa to work jointly with the international community to develop an effective global strategy.

Fight global crime

... Domestically

South Africa has 96 official ports of entry, including 36 designated international airports, which contribute to poor border control and easy access. In April 1997, the Minister for Safety and Security announced strict measures to be adopted in an effort to tighten South Africa’s ports of entry and thereby stem the influx of drugs and arms (Rantao, 1997). In terms of these measures, bulk commercial traffic is to be cleared through only 19 of the 52 existing land border posts and cargo at only 10 of the 36 airports. This is part of the NCPS programme to generally tighten and improve border control.

... and regionally

Given increasing trade and other links with African countries, as well as cross-border crime and drug trafficking in the continent, efforts should be made to strengthen ties with agencies actively working in the field of substance abuse throughout Africa. Common regional strategies should be developed and legal instruments harmonised to enable law enforcement agencies to act effectively (Ryan, 1997). In additional, pressure should be exerted on countries which are known conduits for drugs in Africa, to desist from such activities and implement effective controls (Cilliers, 1994).

Integration of policies across countries in the Southern Africa sub-region, in addition, will (i) assist the harmonisation of excise taxes on alcohol products which, in turn, would (ii) reduce the likelihood of cross-border smuggling, and (iii), if issues such as controls over the advertising of alcohol products on television programmes are beamed into neighbouring countries, it would be mutually beneficial.

... and globally

Effective co-operation in investigation and prosecutions is essential in international actions taken to combat drug trafficking.

In November 1995, the Minister of Justice announced new regulations which would strengthen international co-operation in the fight against drug trafficking by setting up an administrative framework in terms of which confiscation and restraint orders made in certain designated countries can be enforced in South Africa and vice versa.

The international nature of many drug offences also raises the issue of transferring criminal proceedings from one state to another where a more appropriate forum could be provided. The international community is giving thought to devising a method for the consolidation of different drug-trafficking cases committed in different states, but involving the same people.

Effective co-operation in investigation and prosecutions is essential in international actions taken to combat drug trafficking. Moreover, in terms of a multi-level approach to addressing substance abuse it is crucial that appropriate links with international agencies are strengthened.


I International substance abuse

On a global level, drug abuse is escalating and the drug problem has also become increasingly complex. It can no longer be argued that drug abuse is taking place only among marginalised groups, or mainly in the Western industrialised world. Drug abuse emerges as a means of survival for underprivileged young people who are in contact with street life and crime. It also forms part of a youth sub-culture which is quickly spreading a benign image of drugs around the globe.

The data referred to here was provided by the UNDCP.

International illicit drug consumption is likely to involve 3,3 - 4,1 per cent of the world’s population.

From a health perspective, the most serious drug of abuse is heroin. Its consumption is relatively small, 0,14 per cent (8 million people of the world population); however, its use is increasing.

Cocaine is more widespread in terms of the total number of consumers, that is 0,23 per cent (13 million people of the world population).

Cannabis is the most widely abused drug, consumed by 2,5 per cent of the world population (about 140 million people).

Although the overwhelming majority of illicit drugs currently consumed are still derived from plants or plant products that have been synthetically modified, a wave of abuse of synthetic amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) has been reported in recent years, with a 16 per cent average annual increase in quantities seized. Today, some 30 million people or 0,5 per cent of the global population consumes ATS. There appears to be a perception widely spread through the media and directed specifically at younger people, that these substances are ‘fashionable’ and safe.

The question of volatile substances, such as glue, is also a matter of concern, as these substances are not subject to international control measures. These substances may function as a gateway to narcotics and psychotropic substances and young people, especially those living in difficult circumstances such as children on the streets, are particularly vulnerable. Thousands of children living on the streets, sniffing volatile substances is both a mental and physical escape.

A key factor affecting illicit drug demand is that the age of initiation is dropping almost every year and the world community is in the process of placing a stronger emphasis on demand-reduction strategies.

II Precursor control and amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS)

The problems of ATS are relatively new in South Africa and many countries. The international community is concerned about the lack of global awareness and the limited and inconsistent responses to it.

The world community is concerned that precursors – the necessary substances for the production of drugs – are trafficked as widely as the illicit drugs themselves. Precursors have a wide range of licit industrial uses and form part of licit international trade. Effective monitoring can only be successful with the close co-operation of industry. Diversion of precursor chemicals used to manufacture illicit drugs has become a serious challenge to international drug-control efforts.

Chemical monitoring is not only an international obligation in terms of the 1988 Convention, but is also a new and effective tool to assist in supply-reduction efforts and, in particular, illicit laboratory investigations.

Twenty-two (22) chemicals have been identified by Article 12 of the 1988 Convention as being required for illicit manufacture, while an additional 14 have been added as being of particular importance on the South African drug scene. To obtain the chemicals required, the trafficker is forced to make contact with legitimate commerce in the form of the chemical industry. Where sufficient controls are exercised over that licit market, it becomes possible for law enforcement either to prevent the procurement of the chemicals or to make a controlled delivery of the chemicals with an ultimate view to identifying an illicit laboratory and effecting arrests.

Four main areas have been identified in the country as being important to the national chemical trade, namely Eastern Cape (Port Elizabeth), Gauteng (Johannesburg), KwaZulu-Natal (Durban) and the Western Cape (Cape Town).

Successes have been achieved through the current monitoring programme but difficulties were encountered when less scrupulous members of the industry were involved, highlighting the need for a regulated and formal approach to chemical monitoring in the country.

South Africa requires:

- the establishment of a national precursor monitoring programme

- the development of precursor legislation in accordance with the Human Rights Charter and the principles of free trade

- the establishment of a national database containing the information relevant to chemical monitoring

- the entering into of a formal agreement between the SAPS and the chemical industry in the form of a memorandum of understanding to ensure co-operation between the two bodies

- the formation of a working group involving government bodies with a relevant role in chemical monitoring

- ideally, the introduction of systems allowing for the exchange of electronic information between the industry and the SAPS, and the SAPS and other national and international organisations such as the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) and the UNDCP.

III Eradication of illicit crops and alternative development

The international community is committed to the eradication of illicit crops. Significant successes have been achieved in the last ten years as alternative development programmes, complemented by law-enforcement measures, succeeded in reducing illicit cultivation. Thousands of families depend on the growing of cannabis, opium poppy and coca leaf for their livelihood.

In a significant development for South Africa and the rest of Africa, the UN has recently recognised that areas where the cannabis plant is cultivated should be considered for alternative development.

South Africa has not evolved an alternative development policy but requires one.

IV Money laundering and judicial co-operation

The laundering of money derived from illicit drug trafficking and other serious crimes has expanded throughout the world.

Governments of the world are of the opinion that countering money laundering remains one of the most important initiatives in countering illicit drug trafficking. The international community is unanimous in its view that without inter-state co-operation, few or no international instruments can be implemented.

Drug-trafficking organisations usually operate in several countries with raw materials produced in one country, processed and refined in another, transported through other states and distributed in yet others.

The international community is considering methods of consolidating different drug- trafficking cases involving the same persons, although the crimes might have been committed in one or more states.

The international community has also considered further complementary measures to be developed in areas such as the protection of judges and witnesses.

South Africa has the legislative framework to negotiate further agreements in respect of international legal co-operation, and is considering legislation providing for the criminalisation of money laundering. In this area, all the aspects of money laundering are not addressed.

As stated above, the enactment of further legislation to define and criminalise money laundering, as well as to make provision for a Financial Intelligence Centre and Money-Laundering Control Board, is under consideration.


- The UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs

The UN helps countries find innovative ways of controlling the supply of and demand for drugs.

The UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (UNCND) is the main policy-making body on all international drug-control matters. All UN drug-control activities are coordinated by the UNDCP. South Africa is an elected member of this commission.

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) strives to restrict the availability of drugs for medical and scientific purposes, to prevent their diversion into illegal channels and to combat illicit trafficking.

There are UNDCP field offices in the following countries: Afghanistan, Barbados, Bolivia, Colombia, Egypt, India, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Laos, Mexico, Mayanmar, Pakistan, Peru, Russia, Senegal, Nigeria, Thailand, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, New York and Brussels. The UNDCP established a field office for the sub-Saharan region in South Africa in July 1998.

South Africa has been involved in a few UNDCP projects, benefiting from UNDCP funds, examples of which are:

- Capacity-building and Human Resource Development through Drug Interdiction Training which is aimed at the development of human resources in drug law-enforcement in South Africa and strengthening the capacity of law-enforcement agencies through a programme of training in basic drug-detection techniques, train-the-trainer courses and in several specialised fields of drug control.

- A project on the provisioning of drug detection dogs for East and Southern Africa. The SAPS is the executing agency and the project aims to provide sniffer dogs and necessary associated equipment and training for dog handlers.

- In addition, the UN Centre for Human Settlements has introduced a major crime-prevention programme to make African cities safer from crime. To date in South Africa, Johannesburg has entered into such a programme and other cities are in the process of finalising such agreements. These programmes will also involve drug abuse.

II Multilateral and bilateral international instruments regarding drug issues

The international drug-control system is governed by a series of UN treaties. These treaties require that governments exercise control over the production and distribution of narcotic and psychotropic substances, combat drug abuse and illicit trafficking, maintain the necessary administrative machinery and report to international organs on their actions.

Existing treaties are: the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, which established the INCB; The Single Convention was amended by the 1972 Protocol; the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances; and the 1988 UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.

Status of treaty adherence in the world is as follows:

> 160 countries, including South Africa, are parties to the 1961 Convention.

> 145 countries, including South Africa, are parties to the 1972 Protocol.

> 152 countries, including South Africa, are parties to the 1971 Convention.

> 143 countries, including South Africa, are parties to the 1988 Convention. On 4 November 1998, South Africa acceded to the convention.

South Africa is also a signatory to the Protocol on Combating Illicit Drug Trafficking in the SADC region.

South Africa is unable to legalise drugs due to its ratification of the abovementioned instruments.

The need to protect children from the abuse of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances was emphasised in Article 33 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. South Africa ratified this convention in June 1995.

South Africa signed the declaration emanating from the World Summit for Children in December 1993, and in so doing committed itself to the principle of First Call for Children in all areas. Unicef is involved with the Government in implementing the goals of these instruments.

III Implementation of international multilateral drug conventions

Governments, including South Africa, co-operate in the following way with the UN and the international community:

- Treaty adherence

Through the commitment to a treaty a state accepts the legal obligation to abide by the provisions of the treaty. As a signatory to the UN conventions and the SADC Drug Protocol, as mentioned above, South Africa is compelled by international law to adhere to those treaties. A number of South African government departments, such as the departments of Health, Justice, Welfare and the SAPS, are involved in the implementation of these treaties.

- Annual reports

The INCB is an independent semi-judicial control organ for the implementation and monitoring of UN Drug Conventions.

It is the duty of this Board to promote government compliance with the treaties and to assist governments in this effort. It is also the task of the INCB to ensure that adequate drug supplies are available for licit purposes and that leakage to illicit trafficking does not occur. Control over the flow of narcotics is based on information provided by governments to the INCB.

Import certificates and export authorisation ensure the accounting for the legal shipments of narcotic drugs needed for licit purposes.

If a state imports more than its estimates of narcotics needs, the INCB notifies the exporting parties, which are then bound to cease further shipments.

In South Africa, the Department of Health and the SAPS are responsible for reporting to the INCB.

Governments are also asked to report to the Secretary-General on drug seizures under their jurisdiction. Governments are also requested to report the development of any new synthetic drugs and trends in drug-behavioural patterns. The departments of Welfare, Justice, Health and the SAPS provide regular reports to the UN in this regard.

IV International strategies

- Comprehensive Multidisciplinary Outline

The international community, through the UN, devised a strategy in 1987 to serve as a basis on which national authorities could formulate balanced national, regional and international strategies to combat all aspects of the illicit drug phenomenon. This strategy is called a Comprehensive Multidisciplinary Outline, and is still in place as the UN’s strategy. It comprises:

> prevention and reduction of illicit demand

> control of supply

> action against illicit trafficking

> treatment and rehabilitation.

Each government is required to complete an annual questionnaire on the implementation of this strategy. The results of this questionnaire are then processed in a document which serves as a background for discussion during the regular sessions of the UNCND.

This commission, which is the main international policy-making body on the issue of drugs in the UN system, considers the document each year and makes recommendations and adopts resolutions to improve the implementation of the Comprehensive Multidisciplinary Outline.

South African reports to the UN on its activities in terms of this strategy on a regular basis.

- The 1990 Political Declaration and Global Programme of Action

In addition to the 1988 Convention and the earlier drug control treaties, the UN has initiated action on a number of other fronts. In February 1990, the General Assembly’s seventeenth Special Session devoted to international drug control issues adopted a Global Programme of Action. This Programme of Action called for the strengthening of judicial and legal systems in the areas of law enforcement, drug trafficking, diversion of arms and explosives, and trafficking in illicit materials by rail, road, air and water. The UNCND has also called for greater judicial co-operation among states through the adoption of laws and procedures to facilitate criminal investigation and prosecution. For its part, the INCB has recommended ways to improve criminal justice systems, as well as ways to use them more effectively to combat illicit drugs.

Governments are also required to report regularly on the implementation of this Programme. South Africa, where possible, co-operates with the UN in this regard.

V Regional strategies

The drug strategies of the UN also encourage regional co-operation. Examples of regional initiatives where South Africa is closely involved are:

- The SADC’s Drug Protocol signed in 1996, which makes co-operation in the various disciplines not only possible, but makes it a political obligation. This initiative was funded by the European Union (EU) and provides a policy framework that allows co-operation in ensuring that the region does not become a producer, consumer, exporter or distributor of illicit drugs or a conduit for illicit drugs destined for international markets.

- The Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Co-operation Organisation (SARPCCO) was established to promote co-operation among the police agencies within SADC countries. There is direct liaison between SANAB and the drug-enforcement agencies within the SADC.

VI 1998 UN General Assembly Special Session devoted to countering the world drug problem

In June 1998 the UN held a Special Session on the issue of drugs and the General Assembly adopted a Political Declaration and the draft Declaration on the Guiding Principles of Drug Demand Reduction (Annexures 2 and 1).

The Declaration on the Guiding Principles of Demand Reduction indicates the priority policies and strategies that require translation into a commitment to action to drastically reduce drug demand worldwide by the year 2008.

In South Africa, the Department of Welfare has taken a step in this direction by adopting a White Paper which includes a National Substance-Abuse Strategy covering the areas of prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, information and research.

The new political declaration sets out a comprehensive global strategy designed to be implemented by the year 2008.

It reaffirms the world’s commitment to overcome the drug problem and focuses on the promotion of judicial co-operation and the international adoption of appropriate legislation for money-laundering among the member countries. The year 2003 is set as a target date for these objectives. The document also covers the elimination or significant reduction of illicit cultivation of narcotic crops and the reduction of the manufacturing, trafficking and abuse of ATS, and sets the year 2008 as a target date for these aims.

Of significance not only for South Africa, but also for Africa, is that the UN recognised, for the first time, that areas where the cannabis plant is cultivated, should be considered for alternative development programmes. Previously, attention was given only to the cultivation areas of coca leaf and opium poppy.

Although many South African families are dependent on cultivation of cannabis for their livelihood, South Africa has no policy regarding alternative development.

... other areas of international co-operation

I Interpol

Close operational ties exist between the SAPS (in particular, SANAB) and the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol). One very successful area of co-operation has been the use of the Interpol X400 system to circulate the identities of potential couriers employed by drug traffickers to alert the law-enforcement agencies of other countries.

II Drug Liaison Officer network

South Africa hosts drug liaison officers (DLOs) from the US Drug Enforcement Administration, Customs, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and from the United Kingdom (UK). The mandate of these DLOs is to identify the impact of South African drug-trafficking activities on their countries and liaise with SANAB for assistance and possible joint investigations. They also facilitate drug-enforcement training provided by their respective countries. SANAB has received training in Harbour and Airport Interdiction, Drug Enforcement, money laundering and financial investigations from the USA, UK, Germany and France.

III South African Police Service (SAPS)

- The SAPS has an International Drug and Organised Crime Liaison Office based in London.

- The SAPS has also approved the appointment of drug and organised crime liaison officers (DOCLOs) to Pakistan, India, Brazil, Argentina, Thailand, Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe. These posts have not yet all been filled. The expansion of the DOCLO network is intended to enhance co-operation on intelligence-sharing and joint investigations with participating countries.

IV World Customs Organisation (WCO)

- Illicit drugs are often exported or imported into a country as part of a consignment of licit goods. Sophisticated systems of detection as well as international co-operation between Customs departments is, therefore, of the utmost importance.

- South Africa is a member of the WCO Regional Intelligence Liaison Office, requiring the monthly submission of statistics, trends and drug seizures.

V Other international agreements

- South Africa has entered into a formal bilateral agreement with the UK with regard to mutual legal assistance and co-operation in counter-narcotics effort and training. A police co-operation agreement with Brazil has also been entered into. Other informal agreements have been entered into with numerous other countries and further formal agreements are in the pipeline.

- Although the US and South Africa do not have a bilateral counter-narcotics agreement, the two governments co-operate well on narcotics matters. Co-operation between SANAB and the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is particularly close and productive. DEA agents conducted two long-term temporary duty assignments to South Africa in advance of the establishment of a permanent regional office based in Pretoria, which opened in March 1997.

- In September 1997, US Customs conducted a land-border interdiction course and follow-on train-the-trainer course for South African and regional counter-narcotics officials. SANAB officers attended the Africa-Middle East forensics courses in Washington. US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) funding also provided grants for the South African Institute of International Affairs to undertake a study of narcotics trafficking in Southern Africa and for drug-demand reduction activities in Cape Town.

- The Vice President of the US and the Deputy President of South Africa signed a Declaration on Mutual Anti-crime Co-operation at the July 1997 meeting of the Binational Commission. The declaration recognises the threat posed by international crime and drug trafficking and highlights the desirability of mutual co-operation in combating these threats.

- A 1947 extradition treaty entered into with the US, which covers drug trafficking, is the only other narcotics-related agreement South Africa has with the US. South Africa is currently seeking to update the bilateral extradition treaty to eliminate gaps in its coverage and to bring it in line with the new extradition legislation passed in 1996.

- New South African legislation and the country’s position as a member of the Commonwealth will provide a framework for South Africa to negotiate mutual legal assistance treaties (MLATs) with other countries. This is taking place at present.

- The Universal Postal Union (UPU) and the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on co-operation between two world bodies a part of a stepped-up effort to combat crime committed through the use of the mail. The memorandum signed by the Director-General of the UPU's International Bureau, Mr Thomas E Leavey, and the Secretary-General of Interpol, Mr Raymond Kendall, in Berne, Switzerland, on 29 April 1997, is aimed at fighting a variety of crimes committed through the mail. These include illicit drug trafficking.

Chapter 6


Establishing a Drug Master Plan should not be seen as the end of a process, but rather the beginning.

In essence, the challenge which faces South Africa is to translate this well-intentioned Master Plan into a tangible reality. It is this challenge which previous national plans or strategies have failed to meet, not so much because of their own fatal flaws, but rather because of a lack of existing resources which, in addition, were not properly harnessed and the lack of political commitment to implement those plans.

The new South African democracy has created a human rights culture and with it a political will to improve the quality of life of all its citizens.

Addressing the socio-economic problems facing the country today is an awesome task. In the longer term, however, the failure to address substance abuse adequately could jeopardise the attainment of real reconstruction and development in South Africa: while there is a need for a house for every family, school books for every pupil, a hospital bed for every patient and a monthly pension for the aged, it should never be forgotten that drug misuse blights individual lives, undermines families and damages whole communities.

Substance abuse is a unique social evil which deserves a special priority of its own.

South Africa deserves this Master Plan. Furthermore, the plan deserves to be translated into successful action.



The persistent or sporadic excessive drug use inconsistent with or unrelated to acceptable medical practice.


Substances frequently used in the illicit manufacturing of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances as defined in Article 12 of the 1988 UN Convention against Illicit Drugs and Psychotropic Substances mentioned in Table I and Table II annexed to the said Convention.


Community-based treatment refers to programmes or initiatives that arise out of the needs of a particular community (through a needs assessment) and by identifying and utilising existing infrastructure to provide for these needs.


A general term used to describe policies or programmes directed at reducing the consumer demand for psychoactive drugs. It is applied primarily to illicit drugs, particularly with reference to education, treatment and rehabilitation strategies, as opposed to law-enforcement strategies that aim to interdict the production and distribution of drugs.


A person is dependent on a drug or alcohol when it becomes very difficult or even impossible for him/her to refrain from taking the drug/alcohol without help, after having taken it regularly for a period of time. The dependence may be physical or psychological or both.


A novel chemical substance with psychoactive properties, synthesized specifically to be sold on the illicit market and to circumvent regulations on controlled substances. These regulations now commonly cover novel and possible analogues of existing psychoactive substances.


A term of varied usage. In medicine, it refers to any substance with the potential to prevent or cure disease or enhance physical or mental welfare, and in pharmacology to any chemical agent that alters the biochemical or physiological processes of tissues or organisms. In common usage, the term often refers specifically to psychoactive drugs, and often, even more specifically, to illicit drugs, of which there is non-medical use in addition to medical use.


The regulation, by a system of laws and agencies, of the production, distribution, sale and use of specific psychoactive drugs (controlled substances) locally, nationally or internationally. Alternatively as an equivalent to drug policy in the context of psychoactive drugs, the aggregate of policies designed to affect the supply and/or the demand for illicit drugs, locally or nationally, including education, treatment, control and other programmes and policies.


A Master Plan is a single document, adopted by Government, outlining all national concerns in drug control.


Entail drug, alcohol, chemical substances, or psychoactive substances.


The analysis of body fluids (such as blood, urine, or saliva), hair, or other tissue for the presence of one or more psychoactive substances.


A therapeutic strategy that combines early detection of hazardous or harmful substance use and treatment of those involved. Treatment is offered or provided prior to patients presenting of their own volition and in many cases before they become aware that their substance use may cause problems. It is directed particularly at individuals who have not developed a physical dependency or major psycho-social complications.


A labour and management development system designed for the early identification of employees whose problems impair their job performance, and the motivation of these individuals to receive assistance to resolve the problem.


A harm-reduction philosophy emphasises the development of policies and programmes that focus directly on reducing the social, economic and health-related harm resulting from the use of alcohol or drugs.


A psychoactive substance, the production, sale or use, of which is prohibited.


A drug that is legally available by medical prescription in the jurisdiction in question, or, sometimes a drug legally available without medical prescription.


Engaging directly or indirectly in a transaction that involves money or property which is the proceeds of crime, or receiving, processing, conceiving, disguising, transforming, converting, disposing of, removing from, bringing into any territory, money or property which is the proceeds of crime.


Prevention is a proactive process that empowers individuals and systems to meet the challenges of life’s events and transitions by creating and reinforcing conditions that promote healthy behaviour and lifestyles. It generally requires three levels of action: Primary prevention (focuses on altering the individual and the environment in such a way as to reduce the initial risk of developing substance abuse), secondary prevention (focuses on early identification of persons who are at risk of developing substance abuse and intervening in such a way as to arrest progress); and tertiary prevention (focuses on treatment of the person who has developed a drug dependency).


The term substance abuse includes the misuse and abuse of legal substances such as nicotine, alcohol, over-the-counter drugs, prescribed drugs, alcohol concoctions, indigenous plants, solvents, inhalants, as well as the use of illicit drugs.


A general term used to refer to policies or programmes aiming to interdict the production and distribution of drugs, particularly law-enforcement strategies for reducing the supply of illicit drugs.


Treatment is a process aimed at promoting the quality of life of the drug dependant and his/her system (husband/wife, family members and other significant important persons in his/her life) with the help of a multi-professional team.


Cilliers, J.K. (1994). Border Security in South Africa. Unpublished Institute for Security Studies report.

Crime Information Management Centre (1997). SAPS Quarterly Report 3/97: Introduction. Pretoria: SAPS.

Central Statistical Service (1997). Census 1996: Preliminary estimates of the size of the population of South Africa. Pretoria: CSS.

Drug Advisory Board (1997). Framework for a National Drug Master Plan (Draft). Pretoria: Department of Welfare.

Department of Welfare (1996). National Welfare Strategy (Second Draft). Pretoria: Government Printer.

Department of Welfare (1997). Resource Directory on Services and Facilities for the Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse. Pretoria: Government Printer.

Flisher, A.J, Ziervogel, C.F., Chalton, D.O., Leger, P.H. & Robertson, B.A. (1993). Risk- Taking Behaviour of Cape Peninsula High School Students: IV. Alcohol Use. South African Medical Journal, 83, 480 - 482.

Flisher, A.J., Parry, C.D.H. Evans, J., Lombard, C.J., & Muller, M., The South African Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (SACENDU): Part IV: Prevalence rates of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use among Cape Town students in Grades 8 and 11. Symposium paper presented at the 4th Annual Congress of the Psychological Society of South Africa, Cape Town, September 1998.

ICAA (1994). ICAA Policy Discussion Paper: Harm Reduction - Goal or Strategy. Lausanne: ICAA.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Committee (1995). Mental Health and Substance Abuse Draft Report. Pretoria: Department of Health.

Parry, C.D.H., & Bennetts, A.L. (1998). Alcohol Policy and Public Health in South Africa. Cape Town: Oxford University Press.

Parry, C.D.H., & Bhana, A. (1997). South African Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (SACENDU): Monitoring Alcohol and Drug Abuse Trends. Proceedings of Report Back.

Meeting, 27 February 1997 (Volume III) (July - December 1997). Parow: MRC.

Parry, C.D.H., Bhana, A., & Bayley, J. (1998). Monitoring Alcohol and Drug Abuse Trends in South Africa (July 1996 - December 1997). SACENDU Research Brief, 1(1), 1-16.

Rantao, J. (19 April, 1997). Bid to Stem Tide of Drugs and Guns. Cape Argus.

Ryan, T. (1997). Drugs, Violence and Governability in the Future South Africa. Halfway House: Institute for Security Studies.

Turner, D. (1996). Report of the First General Assembly of the South African Alliance for the Prevention of Substance Abuse. Johannesburg: SAAPSA.

Rocha-Silva, L., de Miranda, S., & Erasmus, R. (1996). Alcohol, tobacco and other drug use among black youth. Pretoria: HSRC.

Rocha-Silva, L. (1997). The Nature and Extent of Drug Use and the Prevalence of Related Problems in the RSA: The Initiation and Sustainment of National Surveillance. Pretoria: HSRC.

Rocha-Silva, L. (1998). The Nature and Extent of Drug Use and the Prevalence of Related Problems in the RSA: The Initiation and Sustainment of National Surveillance. Pretoria: HSRC.

SADC (1996). Protocol on Combating Illicit Drug Trafficking in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. Gaborone: SADC.

WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence. (1993). Twenty-eighth Report of the WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence. (WHO Technical Report Series 836). Geneva: WHO.

UNDCP (1998). Declaration on the Guiding Principles of Drug Demand Reduction. Vienna: UNDCP.

UNDCP (1995). Format and Guidelines for the Preparation of National Drug Control Master Plans. Geneva: UNDCP.

Yamada, T., Kendix, M., Yamda, T. (1996). The Impact of Alcohol Consumption and Marijuana Use on High School Graduation. Health Economics, 5, 77-92.


NATIONS Annexure A

General Assembly




17 April 1998


Twentieth special session


* The present document is an advance version of the report of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs acting as preparatory body for the twentieth special session of the General Assembly on the work of its second session. The report will be issued in final form as Official Records of the General Assembly, Twentieth Special Session, Supplement No 1 (A/S-20/4).

98-12385 (E) 180598


Annexure 1


Political Declaration

The General Assembly

Adopts the Political Declaration annexed to the present resolution.


Political Declaration

Drugs destroy lives and communities, undermine sustainable human development and generate crime. Drugs affect all sectors of society in all countries; in particular, drug abuse affects the freedom and development of young people, the world’s most valuable asset. Drugs are a grave threat to the health and well-being of all mankind, the independence of States, democracy, the stability of nations, the structure of all societies, and the dignity and hope of millions of people and their families; therefore:

We, the States Members of the United Nations,

Concerned about the serious world drug problem1, having assembled at the twentieth special session of the General Assembly to consider enhanced action to tackle it in a spirit of trust and cooperation,

1. Reaffirm our unwavering determination and commitment to overcoming the world drug problem through domestic and international strategies to reduce both the illicit supply of and demand for drugs;

2. Recognise that action against the world drug problem is a common and shared responsibility requiring an integrated and balanced approach in full conformity with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and international law, and particularly with full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States, the principle of non-intervention in internal affairs of States, and all human rights and fundamental freedoms. Convinced that the world drug problem must be addressed in a multilateral setting, we call upon States which have not already done so to become a party to and fully implement the three international drug control conventions. 2 Also, we renew our commitment to adopt ing and reinforcing comprehensive national legislation and strategies to give effect to the provisions of those conventions, ensuring through periodic reviews that the strategies are effective;

3. Reaffirm our support for the United Nations and its drug-control organs,3 especially the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, as the global forum for international cooperation against the world drug problem and resolve to strengthen the functioning and governance of these organs;

4. Undertake to ensure that women and men benefit equally, and without any discrimination, from strategies directed against the world drug problem, through their involvement in all stages of programmes and policy-making;

5. Recognize with satisfaction the progress achieved by States, both individually and working in concert, and express deep concern about the new social contexts in which the consumption of illicit drugs, particularly of amphetamine-type stimulants, is taking place;

6. Welcome the efforts of the wide range of people working in various fields against drug abuse and are encouraged by the behaviour of the vast majority of youth who do not consume illegal drugs, and decide to give particular attention to demand reduction, notably by investing in and working with youth through formal and informal education, information activities and other preventive measures;

7. Affirm our determination to provide the necessary resources for treatment and rehabilitation and to enable social reintegration to restore dignity and hope to children, youth, women and men who have become drug abusers, and to fight against all aspects of the world drug problem;

8. Call upon the United Nations system and invite the international financial institutions, such as the World Bank and the regional development banks, to include action against the world drug problem in their programmes, taking into account the priorities of States;

9. Call for the establishment or strengthening of regional or subregional mechanisms, when needed, with the assistance of the United Nations International Drug Control Programme and the International Narcotics Control Board, and invite those mechanisms to share experiences and conclusions resulting from the implementation of national strategies and to report on their activities to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs;

10. Express deep concern about links between illicit drug production, trafficking and involvement of terrorist groups, criminals and transnational organized crime, and are resolved to strengthen our cooperation in response to those threats;

11. Are alarmed by the growing violence resulting from links between illicit production of and illicit trafficking in arms and drugs, and resolve to increase our cooperation in stemming illegal arms trafficking and to achieve concrete results in this field through appropriate measures;

12. Call upon our communities, especially families, and their political, religious, educational, cultural, sports, business and union leadership, non-governmental organizations and the media worldwide to actively promote a society free of drug abuse, especially by emphasising and facilitating healthy, productive and fulfilling alternatives to the consumption of illicit drugs, which must not become accepted as a way of life;

13. Decide to devote particular attention to the emerging trends in the illicit manufacture, trafficking and consumption of synthetic drugs, and call for the establishment or strengthening by the year 2003 of national legislation and programmes giving effect to the Action Plan against Illicit Manufacture, Trafficking and Abuse of Amphetamine-type Stimulants and their Precursors, adopted at the present session;

14. Decide to devote particular attention to the measures for the control of precursors, adopted at the present session, and further decide to establish the year 2008 as a target date for States, with a view to eliminating or significantly reducing the illicit manufacture, marketing and trafficking of psychotropic substances, including synthetic drugs, and the diversion of precursors;

15. Undertake to make special efforts against the laundering of money linked to drug trafficking and, in that context, emphasize the importance of strengthening international, regional and subregional cooperation, and recommend that States that have not yet done so adopt by the year 2003 national money-laundering legislation and programmes in accordance with relevant provisions of the United Nations Convention against the Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988, as well as the measures for countering money-laundering, adopted at the present session;

16. Undertake to promote multilateral, regional, subregional and bilateral cooperation among judicial and law enforcement authorities to deal with criminal organizations involved in drug offences and related criminal activities, in accordance with the measures to promote judicial cooperation, adopted at the present session, and encourage States to review and, where appropriate, to strengthen by the year 2003 the implementation of those measures;

17. Recognize that demand reduction is an indispensable pillar in the global approach to countering the world drug problem, commit ourselves to introducing into our national programmes and strategies the provisions set out in the Declaration on the Guiding Principles of Drug Demand Reduction, to working closely with the United Nations International Drug Control Programme to develop action-oriented strategies to assist in the implementation of the Declaration, and to establishing the year 2003 as a target date for new or enhanced drug demand reduction strategies and programmes set up in close collaboration with public health, social welfare and law enforcement authorities, and also commit ourselves to achieving significant and measurable results in the field of demand reduction by the year 2008;

18. Reaffirm the need for a comprehensive approach towards the elimination of illicit narcotic crops in line with the Action Plan on International Cooperation on the Eradication of Illicit Drug Crops and Alternative Development adopted at the present session; stress the special importance of cooperation in alternative development, including the better integration of the most vulnerable sectors involved in the illicit drug market into legal and viable economic activities; emphasize the need for eradication programmes and law enforcement measures to counter illicit cultivation, production, manufacture and trafficking, paying special attention to the protection of the environment; and, in this regard, strongly support the work of the United Nations International Drug Control Programme in the field of alternative development;

19. Welcome the United Nations International Drug Control Programme’s global approach to the elimination of illicit crops and commit ourselves to working closely with the United Nations International Drug Control Programme to develop strategies with a view to eliminating or significantly reducing the illicit cultivation of the coca bush, the cannabis plant and the opium poppy by the year 2003. We affirm our determination to mobilize international support for our efforts to achieve these goals;

20. Call upon all States to take into account the outcome of the present session when formulating national strategies and programmes and to report biannually to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on their efforts to meet the above-mentioned goals and targets for the years 2003 and 2008, and request the Commission to analyse these reports in order to enhance the cooperative effort to combat the world drug problem.

These are new and serious promises which will be difficult to achieve, but we are resolved that such commitments will be met by practical action and the resources needed to ensure real and measurable results;

Together we can meet this challenge.

Annexure 2


Declaration on the guiding principles of drug demand reduction*


1. All countries are affected by the devastating consequences of drug abuse and illicit trafficking: adverse effects on health; an upsurge in crime, violence and corruption; the draining of human, natural and financial resources that might otherwise be used for social and economic development; the destruction of individuals, families and communities; and the undermining of political, cultural, social and economic structures.

2. Drug abuse affects all sectors of society and countries at all levels of development. Therefore drug demand reduction policies and programmes should address all sectors of society.

3. A rapidly changing social and economic climate, coupled with increased availability and promotion of drugs and the demand for them, have contributed to the increasing magnitude of the global drug abuse problem. The complexity of the problem has been compounded by changing patterns of drug abuse, supply and distribution. There has been an increase in social and economic factors which make people, especially the young, more vulnerable and likely to engage in drug use and drug-related risk-taking behaviour.

4. Extensive efforts have been and continue to be made by Governments at all levels to suppress the illicit production, trafficking and distribution of drugs. The most effective approach towards the drug problem consists of a comprehensive, balanced and coordinated approach, encompassing supply control and demand reduction reinforcing each other, together with the appropriate application of the principle of shared responsibility. There is now a need to intensify our efforts in demand reduction and to provide adequate resources towards that end.

5. Programmes to reduce the demand for drugs should be part of a comprehensive strategy to reduce the demand for all substances of abuse. Such programmes should be integrated to promote cooperation between all concerned, should include a wide variety of appropriate interventions, should promote health and social well-being among individuals, families and communities and should reduce the adverse consequences of drug abuse for the individual and for society as a whole.

6. This Declaration is an important initiative of the United Nations Decade on Drug Abuse, covering the period 1991-2000. It responds to the need for an international instrument on the adoption of effective measures at the national, regional and international levels against the demand for illicit drugs. It builds and expands upon a number of related international conventions and recommendations, which are set out in the appendix to the present Declaration.


7. We, the States Members of the United Nations:

(a) Undertake that this Declaration on the Guiding Principles of Drug Demand Reduction shall direct our actions;

(b) Pledge a sustained political, social, health and educational commitment to investing in demand reduction programmes that will contribute towards reducing public health problems, improving individual health and well-being, promoting social and economic integration, reinforcing family systems and making communities safer;

(c) Agree to promote, in a balanced way, interregional and international cooperation in order to control supply and reduce demand;

(d) Adopt measures provided for in article 14, paragraph 4, of the United Nations Convenion against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988, which states, inter alia, that parties should adopt 'appropriate measures aimed at eliminating or reducing illicit demand for narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances' and may enter into bilateral or multilateral agreements or arrangements aimed at eliminating or reducing that demand.


8. The following principles shall guide the formulation of the demand reduction component of national and international drug control strategies, in accordance with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and international law, in particular, respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States; human rights and fundamental freedoms and the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and the principle of shared responsibility:

(a) There shall be a balanced approach between demand reduction and supply reduction, each reinforcing the other, in an integrated approach to solving the drug problem;

(b) Demand reduction policies shall:

(i) Aim at preventing the use of drugs and at reducing the adverse consequences of drug abuse;

(ii) Provide for and encourage active and coordinated participation of individuals at the community level, both generally and in situations of particular risk, by virtue of, for example, their geographical location, economic conditions for relatively large addict populations;

(iii) Be sensitive to both culture and gender;

(iv) Contribute to developing and sustaining supportive environments.


A. Assessing the problem

9. Demand reduction programmes should be based on a regular assessment of the nature and magnitude of drug use and abuse and drug-related problems in the population. This is imperative for the identification of any emerging trends. Assessments should be undertaken by States in a comprehensive, systematic and periodic manner, drawing on results of relevant studies, allowing for geographical considerations and using similar definitions, indicators and procedures to assess the drug situation. Demand reduction strategies should be built on knowledge acquired from research as well as lessons derived from past programmes. These strategies should take into account the scientific advances in the field, in accordance with the existing treaty obligations, subject to national legislation and the Comprehensive Multidisciplinary Outline of Future Activities in Drug Abuse Control.

B. Tackling the problem

10. Demand reduction programmes should cover all areas of prevention, from discouraging initial use to reducing the negative health and social consequences of drug abuse. They should embrace information, education, public awareness, early intervention, counselling, treatment, rehabilitation, relapse prevention, aftercare and social reintegration. Early help and access to services should be offered to those in need.

C. Forging partnerships

11. A community-wide participatory and partnership approach is crucial to the accurate assessment of the problem, the identification of viable solutions and the formulation and implementation of appropriate policies and programmes. Collaboration among Governments, non-governmental organizations, parents, teachers, health professionals, youth and community organizations, employers’ organizations, workers’ organizations and the private sector is therefore essential. Such collaboration improves public awareness and enhances the capacity of communities to deal with the negative consequences of drug abuse.

Appendix 2: Public comments received on the 7th Draft of the National Drug Master Plan



1. Under article 38 of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 as amended by the 1972 Protocol 12 and under article 20 of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 197113, parties to those conventions are required to take all practicable measures for the prevention of abuse of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances and 'for the early identification, treatment, education, aftercare, rehabilitation and social reintegration of the persons involved'. Article 14 of the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988 states that parties 'shall adopt appropriate measures aimed at eliminating or reducing illicit demand for narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, with a view to reducing human suffering and eliminating financial incentives for illicit traffic'.

2. Taking into account the fact that the rise in global concern about the extent, nature and effects of drug abuse has created an opportunity and the will to intensify action, States reaffirm the validity and importance of the international agreements and declarations in the area of demand reduction that have been elaborated. The importance of demand reduction was confirmed by the International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, held at Vienna from 17 to 26 June 1987, which adopted the Comprehensive Multidisciplinary Outline of Future Activities in Drug Abuse Control. The Comprehensive Multidisciplinary Outline sets out 14 targets in the field of demand reduction, as well as the types of activities needed to achieve them at the national, regional and international levels. The General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs have all adopted resolutions endorsing the Comprehensive Multidisciplinary Outline and emphasizing the need to pay increasing attention to demand reduction. Moreover, at its seventeenth special session, on international cooperation against illicit production, supply, demand, trafficking and distribution of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, the General Assembly, in its resolution S-17/2 of 23 February 1990, adopted the Political Declaration and Global Programme of Action. The Global Programme of Action, in paragraphs 9-37, addresses issues related to the prevention and reduction of drug abuse with a view to elimination of the illicit demand for narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and to the treatment, rehabilitation and social reintegration of drug abusers. Further attention was directed to demand reduction by the World Ministerial Summit to Reduce the Demand for Drugs and to Combat the Cocaine Threat, held in London from 9 to 11 April 1990.

3. In addition, the Convention on the Rights of the Child,14 in its article 33, emphasizes the need to protect children from the abuse of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. A similar point is made in the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond, which, in paragraphs 77 and 78, includes proposals for involving youth organizations and young people in demand reduction activities.

Appendix 2:

National Drug Master Plan: Public comments
















The following is an extract received from the public:


Draft national drug master plan

I refer to the above Plan which was published in the Government Gazette of 26 October 1998, No 19422 and wish to comment on the said Plan.

1. From time to time Post Office employees do come across parcels containing drugs of some kind or another. We also have reason to believe that the postal parcel service is a vehicle to carry drugs both within the country and across borders.

2. The Post Office is , however, hampered by certain factors such as volumes which do not allow us to examine each and every parcel, which is time-consuming and the lack of funds to acquire scanners which will allow us to quickly examine parcels and also bigger numbers of parcels.

3. Presently the Security and Investigation Division attempts to co-operate with the SA Police Service as closely as possible.

It is noticed that in chapter 4 the Central Drug Authority does not include the Post Office. Our Security and Investigation Division feels that they can make a meaningful contribution if the Post Office is also included as a member of DAB.

Should you wish to contact our security head in this regard, you can contact the General Manager, Mr Reggie Marimuthu, Security and Investigations, telephone number (012) 421-7082, cellphone No 082-459-3235.

4. The new Postal Services Bill, 1998 in section 68 does to some extent provide a prohibition against putting anything noxious or deleterious in postal articles - that is letter, parcels, et cetera. It should be considered that the said section should provide more specifically and in more detail to drugs as well.

5. Post Office representatives regularly attend meetings of the Universal Postal Union and as a rule crime prevention is also discussed. As said above, drugs can and probably do enter the country through mail as well. As the Post Office is also an agent for Customs, our own custom’s officers can receive further training in the tracing of parcels containing drugs apart from electronic equipment with which they can be supplied to scan parcels to trace drugs.

6. The Universal Postal Union (UPU) and the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on co-operation between two world bodies as part of a stepped up effort to combat crime committed through the use of the mail. The memorandum signed by the Director General of the UPU’s International Bureau, Mr Thomas E. Leavey, and the Secretary General of INTERPOL, Mr Raymond Kendall in Berne, Switzerland, on 29 April 1997 is aimed at fighting a variety of crimes committed through the mail. These include illicit drug trafficking.

I do hope that the postal company can also contribute in fighting drug trafficking.


In principal, I am in agreement with the thrust of the document. The establishment of a national central drug authority is imperative. The successful implementation of a drug policy requires the close co-operation of a number of bodies and disciplines.

Most medical practitioners (including mental health professionals) experience considerable difficulty in managing substance use or abuse and are reluctant to treat individuals with the disorder. This is mainly due to the inability to control extraneous factors (mainly social) that are aetiologically related to the use of substances.

Where substance use is secondary to a primary psychiatric disorder such as depression or anxiety disorder and the premorbid personality is stable, the treatment is likely to be successful.

The usual psychiatric unit does not have the setting or resources to deal effectively with drug or alcohol users. In most instances these individuals are troublesome and undermine ward policy or rules.

As a social disease drug or alcohol use requires concerted governmental action on a national scale to contain the problem. The international character of drug trafficking means that mutual co-operation between countries is essential.


Overview of the Bridges schools program:


(F/A: Dr E W Harvey)

This is a comprehensive drug and alcohol education program for adolescents from Grade 8 (Std.6) to Grade 12 (Std. 10), covering ages 13 to 19 years,. The program content and all printed materials were compiled and are presented by Steve Wood and Sarah Fisher, and students are also introduced to young addicts in recovery. The program is unique in that all role players are involved, i.e. students, teachers, principals, parents and the community resource bodies.

It is also an ongoing program, which leaves in place student peer support groups, trained teachers, a comprehensive school policy and procedures document, and annual refresher courses, with permanent access to the bridges intervention team. The program has been evaluated and approved by the Medical Research Council and the Cape Education Department. We are an N.G.O. registered as a non-profit organization.

SECTION 1: Initial education

MODULE 1: Students’ program.

(A) Introduction and orientation program for students.

An interactive program presented class by class, in two sessions of 1 period each per class, whereby the disease concept, addiction, alcoholism, the effects on the individual, the family and the community are discussed. Students have the opportunity to talk to recovering addicts, and are encouraged to take responsibility for seeking guidance in solving their own, the families’, and the community’s drug and school - related situations.

"Don’t get hectic, Get help" is the underlying message.

(B) Incorporated in the second session is a Q and A/discussion and an evaluation questionnaire, which enables the compilation of relevant up-to-date statistics by U.C.T.

Materials: Each student receives a printed and bound comprehensive drug and alcohol reference booklet, as well as lecture notes.

MODULE 2: Policy

(A) Initial development of framework document for school policy and procedures. Consultation with principal to establish the school’s ethos and stance on drugs and alcohol. Presentation of tailor-made framework document.

(B) 90-minute seminar for all staff regarding policy and procedures document and implementation thereof.

Materials: Framework policy document and teachers’ lecture notes.

MODULE 3: Parents

2-Hour evening program for adults, encompassing basic drug and alcohol information for today’s climate - warning signs, effects on the family, high-risk adolescents, question and answer sessions, school policy, drug screening and solutions.

Materials: Each parent receives comprehensive lecture notes.

SECTION 2: Establishing the framework for ongoing education and support systems.


Students Supporting Students (S.S.S.)

Formation of support groups to encourage peers to gain the coping skills to resist pressure to use substances, and to equip themselves with knowledge of community resources available should peers require help. This program is presented to 120 selected students in classes of 30 for 1 hour per day over 5 days. The students are selected in equal numbers from each class and are trained as facilitators in forming S.S.S. groups. We prefer the selection process to be a joint effort between teachers and students, and try to identify students who display leadership qualities and good communication skills to take part in the program. In the daily workshops, the students cover feelings and emotions, inappropriate behaviour, refusal skills, talking and listening skills and the role and running of support groups. The facilitators then form the core of S.S.S groups in the school.

Materials: Each student receives a comprehensive S.S.S. booklet, with 4 extra per group.


"Living Drug Free" teachers’ curriculum program

This program is presented to 5 teachers for 1 hour per day over 5 days and covers revision of basic education about harmful substances and their effects on family, friends, school and the community, plus lesson plans demonstrating how to bring ongoing drug education into the classroom without disturbing the curriculum.

We prefer that one of the five teachers is the life skills/guidance teacher and the other four are volunteers. We also select one teacher to interact with the S.S.S. groups in an advisory capacity. These teachers can then pass on the skills learned to the other teachers in the school.

Materials: Each teacher in the school receives a "Living Drug Free" textbook.


(A) Personal follow - up visits at 3 months and 6 months to monitor progress.

(B) Computer installation will take place during January 1999 and a monthly newsletter will be e-mailed to all participating school, as well as an e-mail Q and A service established. We are also planning to open a website by the middle of next year.

(c) We remain permanently on call to facilitate student assessments when necessary, and to help implement the school policy when incidents occur.

Please Note: Although the program takes place over two weeks, with follow-up visits as 3 and 6 months, we are in effect forging a permanent bond with the school in that we remain on call for interventions and assessments, advice on community services available, facilitation of professional help when necessary and ongoing contact through e-mail. Finally, our program is one which emphasises the positive: we are not AGAINST PROBLEMS, but rather FOR SOLUTIONS.



"A programme which has the explicit aim of improving the quality of life of all its employees and their families by providing greater support and helping to alleviate the impact of everyday work and personal problems. This programme offers new and exciting prospects to assist employees’ well-being whilst at the same time increasing organisational effectiveness and profitability". (Hall and Flecther 1994)


"A labour and management development system designed for the early identification of employees whose problems impair their job performance, and the motivation of these individuals to receive assistance to resolve the problem".



At any given time, as many as one, fourth of an organization’s employees may be affected by personal problems, such as alcohol or drug abuse, marital and family issues, or career and financial stress. Whether the source of the personal problem is at home or at work, the result is the often the same: impaired employee productivity, in the form of increased absenteeism, tardiness and accidents.

An Employee Assistance Program (eap) is a systematic approach to addressing potential job performance issues that may arise form employees’ personal problems. While cancelling is the most obvious component, as effective EAP is actually a management system that comprises of the following components:


CHD works closely with clients to develop policy and procedure statements that are customized to match the culture and language of each organization. After reviewing existing policies and procedures on substance abuse, disciplinary procedures and other topics related to personal problems and on-the-job performance, the CHD account manager then develops EAP policies and procedures that complement established organizational practice.

The purpose and scope of the EAP are outlined, along with procedures for accessing the program (either on a self-referred or supervisor-referred basis) and the confidentiality practices to be applied within the program.


During implementation of the program, training sessions are provided to introduce managers to the EAP and to encourage them to make referrals to the program whenever appropriate. Training sessions acquaint managers with the purpose and basic workings of the EAP and destigmatize the idea of counselling as both a personal resource and a management tool. Following the introductory, CHD provides training for groups of newly promoted managers throughout the course of the contract. Individual consultation for managers who are dealing with employees’ personal problems is available whenever needed.


An ongoing employee communication campaign, customized for each client organization, is developed to promote understanding and use of the EAP.

By depicting the EAP as a positive resource intended to help emotionally healthy people stay healthy, and by keeping the program highly visible within the workplace, the EAP promotional campaign encourages employees to use the program in the early stages of a personal problem, before relationships or work performance are seriously damaged. Promotional campaigns usually include EAP orientation sessions, informational brochures, mailings to employee household members, wellness workshops and other supporting material ranging from newsletters articles to refrigerator magnets. The type, frequency and focus of promotional strategies are determined by the client organization’s workplace environment, employee demographics and EAP usage patterns.


The EAP provides pre-paid, solution-focused counselling for client organization employees and their household members. Counselling is provided by professionally trained clinicians, away from the work site to maintain confidentiality. The number of sessions provided depends on the program model selected by the client organization. One common choice is the Assessment/Referral Model, in which the EAP provides one to three sessions to assess the problem, explore alternatives and assist the employee in developing an action plan for problem resolution.

Another frequent choice is the Short-term Counselling Model, which builds on the Assessment/Referral Model by offering additional counselling sessions, typically up to a limit of eight. The model chosen is based on the needs of the client organization and its employees.


CHD develops management systems to monitor EAP’s effectiveness, primarily through feedback from program users and utilization analysis. For the first type of evaluation, individuals who use the EAP are provided with a form to anonymously evaluate the service received. Managers who make referrals to the EAP also are asked to evaluate the service. In addition, CHD provides the client organization with ongoing analyses of program effectiveness through formal periodic reports on utilization. Reports include statistical data on the number of cases seen within the EAP, types of problems presented, client demographics and outcomes, as well as utilization trends, a review of promotional activities and recommendations for program enhancement.


By providing convenient access to pre-paid, confidential counselling, the EAP assists employees in constructively resolving problems that otherwise might impair job performance.

Early treatment can reduce absenteeism and tardiness, limit long-term loss in productivity and lower health care costs.

An EAP helps fill the gap left by existing health care systems, which have neither the range nor the flexibility to respond as quickly as required to personal issues that can affect job performance.

An effective EAP can improve morale and lower employee turnover, increasing organizational effectiveness.

An EAP provides support for managers dealing with difficult employee issues and relieves them of the responsibility of counselling employees on personal matters.


A pioneering four-year study for a client company by an independent consulting firm revealed its EAP was delivering an impressive return on investment.

Specifically, the study showed:

EAP clients treated for chemical dependency lost 44% fewer days than those treated outside the EAP;

EAP clients treated for psychiatric conditions lost 34% fewer days than non-EAP participants;

The EAP reduced four-year medical claims costs of spouses and dependents by 35% compared to those who did not access the EAP; and

The company estimates the EAP resulted in a 4:1 savings-to-investment ration.

Should have any further information please don’t hesitate to contact the Centre for Human Development.

WITBANK CHD (0135) 902291

JOHANNESBURG CHD (011) 834-1611

RUSTENBURG CHD (0142) 22042

SECUNDA CHD (017) 631-1310

NELSPRUIT CHD (013) 755-1173

PRETORIA CHD (0120 348-6405

DURBAN CHD (031) 562-9888

CAPE TOWN CHD (021) 761-7368 (0824603534)


Traditional healers also provide treatment for people with problems of abuse and dependence, although very little is known about the patients they see or the nature of the treatment they provide.

Figure 2. Number of treatment and rehabilitation facilities (by province)



Inpatient/ Half-way houses

Community Services

Provincial/Private and Psychiatric Hospitals

Detox facilities


Eastern Cape







Free State




























Northern Cape







Northern Province







North West







Western Cape














NOTE: Some facilities are listed in more than one category (i.e. support/aftercare and community services)

SOURCE: Information obtained from the Department of Welfare (1997).


Comments on the Draft National Drug Master Plan

(Government Gazette, No. 19422, 26 October 1998)

Lee Rocha-Silva

Centre for Alcohol/Drug-Related Research

Human Sciences Research Council

Pretoria 0001

The draft national drug master plan announced in the government gazette (No. 19422) of 26 October 1998 is opportune: there is ample evidence of a progressive overall rise in drug-related harm (e.g. drug related illness, injury, crime, violence) in South Africa, with this rise relating to, inter alia, an increase in global trade and communication. In deed, it is not surprising that, in line with international developments, the Minister for Welfare and Population Development requested the South African Drug Advisory Board (DAB) - the statutory body responsible for countering drug-related harm - to draft a drug master plan. As signatory to the 1996 Protocol on Combatting Illicit Drug Trafficking of South African Development Community as well as to various other international treaties, South Africa is required to participate in international efforts at countering drug-related harm within and across nations. Such participation is essential, bearing in mind that drug-related harm is facilitated by interactive relationships across national borders. Participation in international treaties also opens the way for internation assistance.

Given the complexity of drug-related problems, the DAB’s claim that their plan is unique in South African history in its comprehensiveness and emphasis on accountability, is most welcome, so also the DAB’s note that the plan is the result of extensive deliberations with local and international stakeholders. Indeed, these statements explain to some extent why the announced plan is the eight version in approximately eighteen months.

However, against the above background, the selectiveness, superficiality and haphazardness reflected in the proposed plan do not make sense. Failure on the part of the DAB to address this inconsistency could ruin the government’s intention to mount a cost-effective, "single, unified and strategic response to the drug problem... at all fronts", even embarrass South African preventive agents and researchers in their deliberations with internation partners.

In fact, there is no proof that the DAB’s proposed plan enjoys broad support. For example, although the plan asserts that "full account has been taken of the comments made (at public hearings) in order to generate maximum agreement and commitment from those who will help to deliver the strategy on the ground", the context of the comments made at public hearings, the identity of the commentators, where the hearings took place and how they were conducted are not disclosed. (An annexure on the latter would have enhanced the integrity of the DAB’s announced master plan).

Given the extensive media coverage of the decriminalization of (particular) drugs, thus, the senbibility of ascertaining the general public’s views on this issue, it is surprising that the plan does not indicate whether the DAB explored views on decriminalization during the public hearings, and, if it did, what the views were. Instead, in a rather nonsensical paragraph on decriminalization, the plan inter alia states: "There has been much debate regarding the issue of whether or not fewer drug-related offenses, such as the possession or use of cannabis, will or should be legalized.

The sincerity of the DAB’s intention to support the plan through comprehensive and integrated research/information systems, is doubtful, given its selective and inaccurate profile of local research initiatives and findings.

Given the extensive media coverage of the decriminalization of (particular) drugs, thus, the senbibility of ascertaining the general public’s views on this issue, it is surprising that the plan does not indicate whether the DAB explored views on decriminalization during the public hearings, and, if it did, what the views were. Instead, in a rather nonsensical paragraph on decriminalization, the plan inter alia states: "There has been much debate regarding the issue of whether or not fewer drug-related offenses, such as the possession or use of cannabis, will or should be legalized.

The sincerity of the DAB’s intention to support the plan through comprehensive and integrated research/information systems, is doubtful, given its selective and inaccurate profile of local research initiatives and findings.

For example, the section on the initiatives of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) provides no information on their longitudinal national surveys over more than a decade on the blood alcohol concentration of drivers and pedestrians. The DAB’s plan only states tautologically that "this research body concentrates mainly on industrial and scientific research aspects" and that the CSIR’s focus is on drug-related traffic infringements. The profile of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) is equally meaningless. The HSRC’s long-standing and wide-ranging track record in drug-related research is glossed over despite national and international recognition of it. Moreover, the HSRC is the only organization in South Africa with a national longitudinal database on the nature and extent of alcohol and other drug use in South Africa, covering the past three decades and facilitating international comparisons as well as refined analyses and interpretation.

The HSRC also pioneered in-depth national research on links between drug use and crime and HIV/AIDS as well as piloted a system monitoring the nature and extent of alcohol and other drug use among arrestees at police stations, based on the Drug Use Forecasting programme of the USA.

Without acknowledging its selectiveness and without clarifying evaluation criteria, the DAB’s plan singles out various "new (information) systems" and qualifies them as initiatives that "should lead to more valid and reliable information on substance abuse in future." It fails to mention a multi sectoral national surveillance on the nature and extent of drug use and related problems that was mobilized in 1995, even through the DAB is well-informed about the project and its international and national acclaim. Stakeholders in the national surveillance include representatives from, inter alia, various research houses, universities, government departments, and NGO’s. Findings of this surveillance underscore the importance of prioritizing youth-oriented preventive programmes, programmes that "disentangle" drugs-crime and drugs-violence connections and prevent or curb drug-related HIV infection. Policy makers and service providers are reminded of the importance of accessible and acceptable specialized treatment to those who are experiencing comparatively severe drug-related biopsychosocial impairment. The surveillance also underlines that drug-related problems (e.g. drug-crime connections) emerge and are sustained within inter alia a context of differential social and economic opportunity.

Although contextualizing information and underlining limitations are essential in terms of sound reasoning and action, the DAB’s plan ever so often neglects to do so.

The HSRC also pioneered in-depth national research on links between drug use and crime and HIV/AIDS as well as piloted a system monitoring the nature and extent of alcohol and other drug use among arrestees at police stations, based on the Drug Use Forecasting programme of the USA.

Without acknowledging its selectiveness and without clarifying evaluation criteria, the DAB’s plan singles out various "new (information) systems" and qualifies them as initiatives that "should lead to more valid and reliable information on substance abuse in future". It fails to mention a multi sectoral national surveillance on the nature and extent of drug use and related problems that was mobilized in 1995, even through the DAB is well-informed about the project and its international and national acclaim. Stakeholders in the national surveillance include representatives from, inter alia, various research houses, universities, government departments, and NGO’s. Finding of this surveillance underscore the importance of prioritizing youth-oriented preventive programmes, programmes that "disentangle" drugs-crime and drug-violence connections and prevent or crub drug-related HIV infection. Policy makers and service providers are reminded of the importance of accessible and acceptable specialized treatment to those who are experiencing comparatively severe drug-related biopsychosocial impairment. The surveillance also underlines that drug-related problems (e.g. drug -crime connections) emerge and are sustained within inter alia a context of differential social and economic opportunity.

Although contextualizing information and underlining limitations are essential in terms of sound reasoning and action, the DAB’s plan ever so often neglects to do so.

Examples are the statements: "Statistics obtained from treatment centres suggest that the use of drugs such as Ecstasy, LSD and Speed is more common among young people than adults ......Binge drinking among young people, especially males, is high (in excess of 25%) in many communities." As terms such as "treatment centres" and "binge drinking" can be defined in various ways, and bearing in mind that the plan defines "young people" as persons ("child and youth") in the age category 30 years or younger (thus including babies), and given that the prevalence of alcohol and other drug use varies over time and place (e.g. rural and urban areas), the statements are meaningless, even absurd. The same argument applies to the statement that "20% to 30% of hospital admissions are estimated to be directly and indirectly related to the abuse of alcohol". It is especially not clear why the DAB’s plan limits itself to drug use and related harm in selected metropolitan centres when comprehensive information of national scope is available.

By stating that "local research has shown a clear link between substance abuse and fatal and non-fatal trauma, particularly trauma resulting from motor vehicle collisions and interpersonal violence", the plan overlooks international evidence of the complexity of drugs-trauma links (e.g. Edwards, G et al. 1994. Alcohol policy and the public good. Oxford: Oxford (e.g. Edwards, G. d University Press; Rocha-Silva, L. et al. 1998. Drug and violence nexus. In: Bornman, E et al. Violence in South Africa. Pretoria: (HSRC).

Furthermore, by linking trauma with substance abuse - and thus with "heavy" substance use, given the plan’s definition of abuse - the plan does not take cognizance of evidence that "heavy" or a comparatively high volume of use is not a necessary or sufficient condition in drug-trauma links (Holder, H.D. et al 1995: 54-56).

The absence of a logical line across the various sections of the DAB’s plan and the careless use of various terms in the text (e.g. the tendency to use words such as substance "use" and "abuse" interchangeably) further confuse the discerning reader.

Thus , to prevent further waste of scarce resources, the DAB would do well to redraft the announce master plan. This should go far in reinstating the integrity of the DAB, indeed in demonstrating its sincere commitment to a national strategy against drug-related harm that truly "means business".


The Street Children Forum recently had the opportunity of viewing the Department of Welfare’s prevention material on substance abuse. We were indeed impressed and found it to be an excellent project, which could facilitate public education.

We are however concerned that hardly any programmes, material, information or pamphlets are readily available to children who are often victims of inhalant abuse.

A meeting was held on 22 September 1998 with representatives from the Department of Welfare and SANCA to explore avenues to effectively deal with the apparent lack of resources and rehabilitative opportunities for (street) children addicted to inhalants and solvents. The following recommendations were concluded:

1. The National Drug Advisory Board be requested to;

1.1 Facilitate the development of information material/packages at provincial and local level.

1.2 Engage in discussion with the Department of Welfare and SANCA to open the facilities to minors and in particular to street children. The Street Children Forum can not access treatment centres, which will admit street children, except for the Julio Rehabilitation Centre, which we cannot afford.

1.3 Facilitate the establishment of a database/resource package on inhalant and solvent abuse.

2. Advise the Forum whether the key departments and stakeholders developed the business plans as recommended in your document: Framework for a National Drug Master. Plan, Oct. 97 pages 34-35. We are unsure as to how we could access services rendered by the Health, Welfare and Educational Departments for street children who are using and abusing volatile substances.



1. Dit is my oortuiging dat die goue draad wat deur die maatskaplike patologie van Suid Africa loop, middelmisbruik is. Hierby sluit ek enige psigoaktiewe middel, alhoewel alkohol sekerlik die grootste sondaar is, in.

2. Alhoewel daar baie aanwysbare oorsake van middelmisbruik is, help dit nie altyd om die oorsaak aan te spreek nie - die verslawingsprobleem woeker voort en behoort gelyklopende aandag te kry. Mense is in staat om hul gedrag te verander ten spyte van die omstandighede en oorsake. Te veel klem op oorsake ontmagtig mense en ontneem hulle hul verantwoordelikheid.

3. Die dokument spreek op bladsy 43 die impak van substansmisbruik aan. Ek is van mening dat die 20% inset wat 80% verskil kan maak in die samelewing, ‘n werklik omvattende fokus van regeringskant op die bestryding van substansafhanklikheid en - misbruik is. So ‘n fokus as eerste en deurlopende prioritiet is in ooreenstemming met die gestelde visie van die dokument.

4. Dit beteken dat die regering die veroorsakende rol wat substansmisbruik in maatskaplike patologie speel sal erken en daaraan voldoende prioriteit gee. In terme van ‘n langtermyn poging tot herstel van die samelewing (kinders, huwelike, gesinne, ensovoorts) is dit werklik my oortuiging dat substansafhanklikheid prioriteit nommer een moet wees.

5. Ek wil dus voorstel dat die dokument dit sterker stel as wat hy dit tans doen. Slegs deur prioritiet te verleen aan hierdie goue draad wat deur alle maatskaplike patologie loop, sal ons samelewing uiteindelik getransormeer wees. Die regering moet bereid wees om ‘n werklik omvattende program te loods wat die saak publiek maak en hou.

6. Bogenoemde gedagtes verteenwoordig ‘n bepaalde paradigma wat ek glo ook die vertrekpunt van die "Drug Master Plan" behoort te wees.

5. Ek wil dus voorstel dat die dokument dit sterker stel as wat hy dit tans doen. Slegs deur prioriteit te verleen aan hierdie goue draad wat deur alle maatskaplike patologie loop, sal ons samelewing uiteindelik getransformeer wees. Die regering moet bereid wees om ‘s werlik omvattende program te loods wat die saak publiek maak en hou.

6. Bogenoemde gedagtes verteenwoordig ‘n bepaalde paradigma wat ek glo ook die vertrekpunt van die :Drug Master Plan" behoort te wees.

7. My indruk van die dokument is dat die opstellers waarskynlik wel met so ‘n paradigma werk (volgens byvoorbeeld hoofstuk 6), maar ek dink nie dit word duidelik en skerp genoeg geformuleerd gestel nie.



1. It is clear that "extensive research was done into international drug strategies" in the compiling of this document by its emphasis on illicit drugs and the use of terms such as "khat". Quite unknown in South Africa. It is not clear where the extensive research done into "National Drug Strategies" is reflected in the document as it shows VERY LITTLE OF THE TRUE SOUTH AFRICAN ALCOHOL AND DRUG SITUATION.

It seems as if this document was written as an International Assignment. This is not necessary bad or wrong, but it contains very little to address the South African rising problems of Alcohol and Drug Abuse. There are no traces to be found in the document of the input of the comments made by the Communities when the Department of Welfare (at considerable expense to the tax payer, I’m sure) went throughout the country to ask the people’s opinions on the Draft Document.

2. The proposed composition of the Central Drug Authority "will be appointed in the same manner as the DAB" - P19 of the Government Gazette - as no amendments are proposed to the Act pertaining to the DAB it is envisaged that this Central Authority will also function in the same manner as the DAB? What then is the whole purpose of the expensive process up to date? If other Government Departments are not going to contribute equally to the financing of the Alcohol and Drug problems in South Africa we will be back to the old pattern of holding the Department of Welfare responsible for subsidising treatment centres and carrying all the responsibilities.

3. Mention is often made in the document to the implementation thereof. The "Master Plan" lacks a very clear and precise plan of action and those mentioned are on a superficial level.

I cannot see that this will make a big difference in our ever increasing problems in South Africa

4. Nobody has any proof that any comments they make will be taken serious as this was the case with all the previous Drafts - so carry on and waste our Tax Payers money.


In view of facilitating collaboration and avoiding duplication of services and waste of scarce resources, a group of practitioners and researchers (e.g. representatives of various government departments, the South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, CSIR and HSRC) established SARPA in 1993. Its membership has grown from an initial of 15 members in 1993 to 150 in 1996. However, as an inclusive forum of practitioners and researchers, networking nationally and internationally, membership fluctuates.

The importance that SARPA members attach to mutually satisfying collaboration is underlined in SARPA’s vision, namely

sustaining an inclusive multi sectoral forum of researchers and practitioners that facilitates community-driven research-based policy formation and service provision regarding drug-related prevention and treatment in South Africa.

The matter of co-operation and mutual support is reiterated in SARPA’s mission, namely

to inspire researchers and service providers at all levels to

effect co-operatively community-driven research-based policy and services in the relevant field.

SARPA members are furthermore committed to the following principles:

Respect for and adherence to basic human rights as delineated in the South African constitution;

Non-absolute, holistic and contextually sensitive thinking and operation;

Participative and transparent decision making and activity;

Co-operative, non-dominating relationship building;




Thank you for your telefax request to comment on the Draft National Drug Master Plan. Your telefax reached my desk on the afternoon of Friday, 13 November, by which time it was impossible to serve you with input before Monday 16 November , as requested.

My salient comments are:

On page 15, under Crime, it is indicated that the level of drug misuse in prisons should be reduced. In terms of road safety, it is absolutely a national priority that this also should be achieved on the roads and I submit strongly that this aspect should be taken up in the final Drug Master Plan.

Under the heading Legislation on page 26-27 it seems important that the Road Transport Act should also be included.

On page 30 the seven key crime categories include gender-related violence, violence against children and violence committed in inter-group conflicts. While accepting that these types of violence are important, charismatic and very much in the public and political eye, the hard fact of the matter if that the greater proportion, by far, of violence falls outside those categories (adult, non-gender, non-group related incidents). Also, the extreme violence on tourists, high-level executives of overseas industrial and commercial groups and on targeted elderly people are reflected in the international media and are disastrous to our economic interests.

It is surprising that the only reference to the vast impact of alcohol and other substance abuse appears to be on page 43 under Community Health and Welfare. This facet unquestionably needs much more focus.

On page 48, under Department of Transport, reference should be made to the impact of non-alcoholic substances in regard to road safety. In particulare, clinical and laboratory screening and detection of drug involvement has become a matter of increasingly high priority and the joint endeavours of the CSIR, the HSRC and the MRC in regard to the national Drug Recognition Programme warrant mention in the Drug Master Plan.

On page 53 under the heading "Which research engines are already operating?" there is an important omission: the CSIR Transportek Division has conducted multicantric random sampling of drivers and pedestrians on our roadways after office-hours to establish the proportion of those who have blood alcohol levels of 0.08g/100ml or higher. These surveys have been conducted over almost two decades now and the data for the past ten years are absolutely reliable. It is a process of continuin national surveillance of trends of alcohol abuse on the roads. The findings need to be acted upon but no new research tools or expenditure are required.

Under Eradication of illicit Crops, on page 62, it becomes an important consideration in a Nation Drug Master Plan that the very extensive cultivation and abuse of dagga (cannabis) in South Africa should be recognised and that active measures increasingly be taken to combat it. Regrettably one hears official utterances that the use of it is known to be the common mode of entry for young people towards the abuse of noxious and heavy drugs.

It seems important that any political sensitivities about such a process be dispelled.

I hope that these brief comments may be of some use to you.



Attached for your attention is comment by the TO-Group. We wish to stress that the Plan has little hope of success unless education practitioners are closely involved.

General Comment:

There is no doubt that a Plan such as this is long overdue and is to be welcomed. In terms of the proposals with regard to the training of teachers, the role of schools and teachers, the additional workload of teachers, and many other related issues, there are many areas, as will be indicated below, which have not been cleared with the interested parties. There are also a number of ussues, especially in terms of the recently concluded agreement on the workload of teachers, which have not been cleared with the teachers’ unions.

1. Acknowledgements

No reference to teacher unions - the significance of this oversight will appear later for comments on the rest of the document.

2. Chapter 1


1. Why the concern about drugs?

In as much as the Master Plan intends to address the youth and education as priorities and refers to substance abuse as a major couse of, inter alia, the escalation of chronic diseases, such as AIDS, neither this document, nor the Master Plan will be complete without reference to the work of the South African Law Commission (Third Interim Report on Ascpects on the Law Relating to Aids) as well as the proposed National Policy on HIV/AIDS for learners in public schools in terms of the National Education Policy Act, 1996. This latter policy proposes to increase the workload of teachers by the allocation of additional functions in terms of health care. This is something which arises out of this Master Plan as well and will be a problem for the teacher unions.

5. Why does South Africa need a national drug master plan?

The reference to the problems caused by the duplication of certain services and the non-existence of others, is the very reason why reference should be made to other policies and plans as indicated in the previous paragraph.

3. Chapter 2


The first sentence/paragraph of the chapter probably does not reflect accurately what it is intended to convey.

4. Chapter 3



To the extent that the youth is one of the main areas of focus under the priorities and that the objectives with regard to the youth will rely strongly on education and teachers, there is a need to provide for teachers under priorities as well as under objectives. As stated above the Master Plan allocates specific roles and functions to schools, i.e. to the teachers and the governing bodies. In terms of resolutions of the Education Labour Relations Coucil (ELRC), the working hours and workload of teachers are currently being defined. Additional work cannot be allocated merely in consultation with the Department of Education. Teacher unions need to be involved too.

5. Chapter 4




It is not sufficient to provide for "trade union representative" only. It is also necessary to specify teachers’ trade unions.


The following functions should be added:

xii. develop effective national and local public education strategies focussing particularly on young people

xiii. raise awareness among teachers,...... of issues associated with drug misuse and young people

xiv ensure the development of effective programmes on drug education

6. Chapter 5


Area 2: Youth


Very little information is provided with regard to the input of the Department of Welfare and Population Development with regard to the additional workload that will be imposed on teachers. As indicated above the Unions and the Department of Education have only just negotiated the normal working hours and workload of teachers. Additional material with regard to life skills such as drug abuse simply increases the workload of teachers. The preparation of the material would take up further teacher time - and already there is not enough time as it is.

Questions that will have to be addressed and cleared with the teachers’ unions as well, will be:

(a) What role will the Department of Welfare and Population Development play in the development of life skills material for schools in this regard?

(b) What input will be made with regard to the training of teachers? Does this have a financial implication? Will this additional input be funded by the Department of Welfare and Population Development or by the Department of Education? The financial ability of the Department of Education in the provinces is stretched to the limit already!

(c) Does the Department of Welfare and Population Development propose to monitor the testing of the matierials in the classroom? What is the reaction of the teachers’ unions to this?

To what extent in the compilation of the Master Plan and the incorporation of the Curriculum 2005 initiative and the COLTS Campaign, has the Ministry of Welfare and Poppulation Development with regard to their plans to combat drug abuse? What alternative strategies have been considered? The Master Plan refers to public schools. What about the youth in private schools and other institutions?

Area 3: Community Health and Welfare


The Master Plan, inter alia, proposes that-

professionals from other sectors, such as....... teachers also need to be trained as health and welfare professionals on the topic of addiction; and

such training courses be included in as wide a range of curricula as possible.

As indicated above, the question of initial and further training of teachers as well as in service training, are issues that will have to be negotiated with the unions in the ELRC. These matters have not been referred to the ELRC for consideration at all. See also the last paragraph of this section VI. The same questions arise here.

7. Concluding remarks

7.1 To the extent that educators are going to be involved in the proposed program it has been pointed out that in terms of national and international labour standards and existing labour agreements, it will not do simply to think up more work for teachers to do.

7.2 The number of pupils is increasing, the number of teachers is decreasing as budgets decrease, the teacher/pupil ratios are getting worse by the day as a result of which the workload of teachers is getting out of hand. The Ministry will do well to take cognisance of the Handbook of the Internation Labour Ofiice dealing with teachers and international labour standards. Especially worth noting is the effect of ,inter alia, dealing with drugs and other social problems, which are factors which cause stress in the school.

7.3 Much reliance is placed in the Master Plan on Curriculum 2005 and the Colts Programme. At the moment both these initiatives are not yielding the expected results. Alternative plans will have to be made if the Master Plan is going to be implemented in schools.


Congratulations on your Master Plan. I am sure it will make a big difference to alcohol and drug abuse if it is well implemented. I would, however, from my perspective, give much more responsibility to the Department of Education (page 37 in your document). The problem can be very directly addressed within the Life Orientation Learning Area, It is also naturally a part of the Life Skills and HIV/AIDS Education Programme.

Teachers (Secondary Schools) have already been trained country wide (two per school) and the Primary School Project has already started in many provinces. For more information on the Primary School Project, contact Dr Kenau Swart: (012) 312-0117. Prevention, intervention and care rests heavily on the shoulders of the Education Departments, and they should be reminded of this responsibility.


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