News Article

Bay Local Drug Action Committee establishment long overdue

Published: November 29, 2023

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Despite the delayed establishment of the Nelson Mandela Bay Local Drug Action Committee, it remains a critical step to address the debilitating effect of drug abuse and trafficking in the region.

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor Gary van Niekerk says the need for intervention to address the lack of assistance for people dealing with drug addiction, cannot be overstated.

"Instead of having their hands cuffed, many of our residents currently abusing substances, need a hand up.

"Substance Use Disorder is defined as an illness and not weak willpower and requires a special focus to help those in the throes of despair and self-destruction due to this all-consuming illness.

"We prioritized this legislative requirement as an effective Local Drug Action Committee can play a critical role in helping those affected by Substance Use Disorder, a recognized medical condition, to turn their lives around,” Mayor Van Niekerk said.

The establishment of the Nelson Mandela Bay Local Drug Action Committee is in accordance with the Prevention and Treatment for Substance Abuse Act 70 of 2008.

Four National Drug Master Plans, with the latter ending next year, were developed without any local structures establishment, as required by law, to address the treatment of patients and to find ways to stop the flow of illicit drugs.

Shortly before announcing the NMB LDAC members, Mayor Van Niekerk applauded them for championing the fight back against a social ill that destroys individuals, families and ultimately the fabric of society.

The committee members are:

o   Adelaide Philips – Department of Social Development

o   Grace Nqwaba – Department of Social Development

o   Tembile Ngqabayi – Department of Social Development

o   Hendrik Jacobs - Ernest Malgas Treatment Centre

o   Yolisa Mdigi – Department of Social Development

o   Thabisa Mandla – Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Special Programmes Unit

o   Khumbulani Qekema - Championing Attitudes in Substance Abuse

o   Ntando Somwahla - MIET AFRICA

o   Noxolo Makaphela - Dept of Community Safety

o   Vidah Mayana - Lead Inform Facilitate Educate (LIFE)

o   Francois Simons – Department of Correctional Services

o   Dianne Cadles - Eastern Cape Liquor Board

o   Noluthando Vundla - Department of Health

o   Chief Jan Bekkies - Traditional Leader

o   Prof Veonna Goliath - Nelson Mandela University

o   Cosmo Baartman - Department of Education

o   Alfred Ferreira - BAYSEC Initiative

o   Stephen Le Feuvre - BAYSEC Initiative -

o   Patricia Van Niekerk - Salvation Army

o   Nandipha Linda - Red Cross Society

o   Lieutenant Colonel Maurice Adams - South African Police Services

o   Timothy Hendricks – One People, One Vision: Healing our Bay

Newly elected committee members decried the lack of treatment facilities for affected individuals to detoxify and the lack of adherence by Health Facilities to the law to assist patients.

Ends

Issued on behalf of the Office of the Executive Mayor by Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Media Management Officer Kupido Baron (082 780 2726 / 041 506 1500 / kbaron@mandelametro.gov.za).

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