ATC150416:Report of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development on the 2012/13 Annual Report of the Central Drug Authority (CDA) dated 18 March 2015

Social Development


The Portfolio Committee on Social Development having considered and deliberated on the 2012/13 Annual Report of the Central Drug Authority (hereafter CDA or Authority) on 19 November 2014 wishes to report as follows:


1. Introduction


The Committee’s mandate as prescribed by the Constitution of South Africa and the Rules of Parliament is to build an oversight process that ensures a quality process of scrutinising and overseeing Government’s action and that is driven by the ideal of realising a better quality of life for all people of South Africa. 


The Committee, as part of exercising its oversight function received a briefing from the CDA on its 2012/13 Annual Report. The CDA initially presented its annual report to the Committee on 29 October 2014. The Committee was not satisfied with the content of the presentation and requested the CDA to make another detailed presentation, focusing on its mandate and functions and extent of substance abuse in South Africa, on 19 November 2014.


This report presents some of the key performance indicators of the CDA highlighting the achievements and challenges encountered by the CDA in meeting its set strategic objectives. It will also highlight the observations made by the Committee. 


2.  Central Drug Authority on its 2012/13 annual report


The CDA is a statutory body, established in terms of the Prevention and Treatment of Drug Dependency Act, Act No 20 of 1992 as amended. The CDA consists of 12 appointed members from the private sector, who are experts in the substance abuse field, 14 representatives of the national government departments, and three national government entities nominated by their respective Ministers.  Currently, the Authority is composed of nine Provincial Substance Abuse Forums (PSAF) and 238 Local Drug Action Committees (LDAC).


It serves as an advisory body to the Minister of Social Development for a period of five years. Its functions are to give effect to the National Drug Master Plan (NDMP), advise the Minister on any matters affecting the abuse of drugs referred to the CDA by the Minister for advice. It may also advise the Minister on any matter on which the CDA considers it necessary and it may plan, co-ordinate and promote measures relating to the prevention and combating of the abuse of drugs and the treatment of persons dependent on drugs in accordance with the NDMP. The CDA also arranges conferences/summits relating to the combating of substance abuse in South Africa. It oversees and monitors the anti-substance abuse activities of the 16 national departments and entities. It has powers to request responsible government departments and Provincial Substance Abuse Forums to submit annual reports by no later than last day of June, and such other reports as may be required. In case of non-compliance by these institutions the CDA may request Cabinet through the Minister of Social Development to intervene. It also ensures that there is effective liaison between the Provincial Substance Abuse Forums and the Local Drug Action Committees.  


In addition to the above functions, the CDA has a responsibility to advise the government on policies and programmes in the field of substance abuse and drug trafficking. It recommends to Cabinet the review of the NDMP every five years.


The overall goal of CDA is to ensure that there is measurable reduction in the substance abuse. The impact of this, is to see reduction in the substance abuse and related social ills such as poverty, HIV/AIDS, sex work, crime etc. The outcome of this goal is to ensure that there is improved quality of life through integrated Departmental and Provincial Drug Master Plans and reports.


3. Extent of Substance Abuse in South Africa


The CDA reported that South Africa has the highest abuse rates of Cannabis and Crystal Methamphetamine (commonly known as ‘tik’) compared to the rest of the world. Eastern Cape had the highest abuse of cocaine; Western Cape had the highest abuse of ‘tik’ and KwaZulu-Natal had the highest abuse of heroin.  In relation to access to treatment, the CDA reported that one in 18 people requesting treatment have access to it. This was low compared to North America and Oceania where one in three and one in four people respectively have access to treatment. This clearly demonstrated the urgent need for increased access to treatment programmes in the country. Also, about 50 per 1 000 (5%) of school-entry children in South Africa have Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD). 


4. Target set for 2012/13


The Authority had set the following targets to achieve during the year under review to:

  • Ensure approval of the reviewed National Drug Master Plan 2013-2017;
  • Improve access to information, interventions and treatment;
  • Reduce demand for and supply of illicit substances of abuse;
  • Reduce harm associated with substance abuse;
  • Reduce social ills associated with substance abuse;
  • Conduct a national household survey on substance use/abuse;
  • Strengthen the capacity of the CDA’s support structures with regard to the implementation of the NDMP 2013–2017.


4.1        Achievements on set targets


The following achievements were reported:


  • The Authority evaluated the success of the National Drug Master Plan as from 2006–2011;
  • It developed, consulted, and submitted the final draft of the NDMP 2013– 2017 and maintained nine (9) Provincial Substance Abuse forums and established Local Drug Action Committees.
  • It made contributions to the development of Regulations to the Prevention of and Treatment for Substance Abuse Act (No. 70 of 2008) and monitored the implementation of the resolutions of the 2nd Biennial Anti-Substance Abuse Summit.
  • It made Resource Directory available to relevant stakeholders.
  • It partnered with the United Nations Office on Drugs Crime and the University of South Africa (UNISA) to launch a World Drug Report in 2012. It also prepared a Handover Report for third CDA.
  • It capacitated the Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape and Free State provinces to implement the anti-substance abuse programme of action.
  • It approved the treatment model and built capacity to enhance its implementation.
  • It contributed to the National Strategy for the Prevention and Management of Alcohol and Drug Use amongst Learners in Schools. It also contributed to the advocacy material for Learners, Educators and Parents.
  • It contributed to have Cocoa Tea declared undesirable in terms of the Medicine and Related Substances Act, 1965.
  • It investigated and pronounced on the concoction of “Nyaope”.
  • It contributed to the Draft Bill on Alcohol Advertising, Sponsorship and Promotion of the Department of Health.
  • It contributed to the drafting of the detoxification guidelines of the Department of Health.


  1.  Achievements based on key integrated strategies


5.1        Supply reduction


Supply reduction is a mechanism to control the distribution of and access to raw drugs and precursor materials, production and manufacture sale and distribution. Various government departments play an important role to reduce supply.  The Department of Correctional Services reported that 549 incidents of dagga occurred in correctional facilities and 259.25 kg of Cannabis were confiscated.


In relation to the South African Police Services (SAPS), the report reflected that during the year under review a total number of 394 379 compliance inspections were conducted at licensed liquor premises. Thirty three (33) clandestine laboratories were closed down and drugs to the value of R12 832 150 were seized.


The South African Revenue Services seized 395 kg of cocaine, 60768 kg of cannabis and 5330 kg of heroine were all seized at ports of entry.


5.2        Demand reduction


These are initiatives aimed at preventing the use, abuse and dependence on drugs through prevention that includes educating potential users and early intervention programmes.  The Department of Education developed and implemented the National Strategy for the Prevention and Management of Alcohol and other drugs.  It further conducted the drug testing and searches with partnership with Police in schools. The Ke Moja awareness programme of the Department of Social Development was translated into lesson plans.


The Department of Correctional Services provided substance abuse treatments to 6 500 offenders and about 11 156 offenders were reached through prevention programmes. The Department of Sports and Recreation implemented an anti-doping programme in sporting codes. The Department of Social Development developed Regulation for the Prevention of and Treatment for Substance Abuse Act 70 of 2008. It also developed a Social Mobilization Strategy and piloted it in Limpopo.


5.3        Harm reduction


This strategy is developed to limit the damage caused to individuals and communities who have succumbed to substance abuse through treatment, reintegration and after care facilities.


Achievements reported under this strategy included a report from the Department of Correctional Services highlighting that a number of 157 employees were reached through the Employee Assistance Programme. The Department of Health had developed the Draft Detoxification Guidelines.  It also piloted the screening and brief intervention for alcohol disorders among TB patients in three districts.


6.  Challenges


The Central Drug Authority reported that it had encountered the following challenges:


  • The impact of the CDA and the National Drug Master Plan on the quality of life of communities in South Africa was yet to be measured;
  • The Departmental Drug Master Plans and reports from the national and provincial departments responsible for drug abuse counteraction continued not to be submitted on time;
  • The Provincial Substance Abuse Forums have to be put on both the public and political agenda of the provinces;
  • The Local Drug Action Committees (LDACs) had to be established in all 238 Municipal Areas in order to combat substance abuse at local level; and
  • There’s shortage of public treatment centres to deal with a large number of people who are addicted to harmful substances.








Challenges in Municipalities


The Authority reported the following challenges encountered at local government level:


  • The CDA reported has no dedicated people to deal with substance abuse matters in some municipalities;
  • Some municipalities have no budget dedicated for substance abuse matters;
  • Some municipalities are failing to implement the National Drug Master Plan and
  • There is a lack of coordinated programmes in municipalities.


Challenges in Provinces


The Authority reported the following challenges encountered at local provincial level:


  • Provinces have limited human and financial resources to deal with substance abuse;
  • There is a lack of coordinated programmes;
  • Local Drug Action Committee are not sustained;
  • There is poor reporting on substance abuse;
  • There is no monitoring and evaluation of structures;
  • There is poor representation in the Provincial Substance Forum by government departments; and
  • Baseline studies are outdated and inaccurate.


Remedial action


The CDA reported that the following remedial actions need to be taken:


  • The operational structure of CDA needs to be strengthened at all levels;
  • More resources need to be allocated to the CDA for all its structures;
  • A comprehensive Baseline study needs to be conducted;
  • Preventative measures to combat substance abuse need to be strengthened; and
  • Non-reporting by departments needs to be elevated to Inter-ministerial committee level.


7.  Observations


  • The Committee advised the CDA to work with the Members of Parliament as a way of assisting it in its facilitation role.  It was clear that its facilitation role is not enough in the fight against substance abuse.
  • The Committee noted with concern the lack of understanding by departments and provinces of their mandate in the fight against substance abuse as prescribed by the Prevention of and Treatment of Substance Abuse Act. This was expressed as a grave concern as it implied that it would be difficult for departments and municipalities to capacitate communities on substance abuse if they themselves do not have a good understanding of the Act. 
  • The increase of substance abuse in the country was noted with serious concern to the extent that it has been observed that government official, particularly those in the law enforcement sector, go to work under influence of alcohol.  The Committee felt that a radical approach should be developed to deal with this epidemic.
  • Committee acknowledged that in municipalities where there is political support, substance abuse programmes are working well. It also noted where churches, schools, Community Based Organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations are active, programmes aimed at fighting substance abuse are effective.  
  • The Committee discussed the issue of lack of local coordination of substance abuse programmes at both national and provincial levels at great length and it suggested that local coordination should be prioritised as an urgent area that needs to be strengthened. 
  • The Committee acknowledged the good work done by the CDA even though its role is only that of facilitation and coordination. It felt it is the responsibility of the provincial departments, municipalities and national department to ensure that they implement their responsibilities. The issue of substance abuse is complex and sensitive.
  • The Committee welcomed and stressed the need for the CDA to conduct a national baseline survey to assess the drug abuse problem in South Africa and the effectiveness of the anti-substance and drug abuse initiatives.

8.  Resolutions


  • The Committee resolved to organise a substance abuse workshop in collaboration with the CDA and the Department of Social Development. The Committee will invite the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), provinces, industry/business, community structures, traditional leaders, academic institutions and religious groups. The purpose of the workshop will be for the aforementioned structures to discuss challenges they face as a result of substance of abuse. The workshop will also invite the participants to make inputs on the recommendation to establish CDA as an entity as a solution to strengthen its role, have its allocated budget and personnel. This is important in the light of the escalating increase and the impact of substance abuse. The fight against substance abuse should be given equal prioritisation such as intervention against HIV and AIDS through the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC).
  • It also resolved that Members of the Committee should participate in the public awareness against substance abuse through media – local and national radio stations.
  • The CDA should provide the Committee with the names of the municipalities and provinces that are not complying with their reporting obligation so that the Committee can hold them accountable.


9. Recommendations


The committee recommends that:

  • The Minister of Social Development should use the allocated budget to establish a national CDA office.
  • The Minister should advise the CDA to make use of community members who have shown a commitment to assist their communities in the fight against substance abuse as a way of solving the challenge of lack of human resources.  
  • The Minister should ensure that the implementation of the Regulations of the Treatment of and Prevention for Substance Abuse Act is strengthened and there should be an increase in awareness campaigns against substance abuse, especially at family level.


Report to be considered.






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