The Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, says it important to respond with urgency to the challenges facing youths living in Melmoth, in KwaZulu-Natal.
During a visit to the area on Friday, the youths told the Minister that an increasing number of young people in the Mthonjaneni Municipality needed help to stop using glue and snuff – a fine-ground tobacco which is sniffed into the nose – as a drug.
The visit to the area forms part of Project Mikondzo, a service delivery improvement programme aimed at responding more effectively and innovatively to social challenges in the country’s poorest wards.
“We have given the National Development Agency (NDA) an urgent mandate to help establish and capacitate NGOs to help deal with the problem of drug abuse in Mthonjaneni.
“The future of Mthonjaneni will be in jeopardy if we do not tackle this problem with the urgency it deserves,” said Minister Dlamini.
Residents in the area said drug dependence was causing other social challenges such as the abuse and killing of elderly people, teenage pregnancy, more school dropouts, child neglect, abuse of social grants and domestic violence, among others.
The Minister met with local social workers, who expressed concern at the limited resources at their disposal. They also needed to be capacitated to use current resources more efficiently.
Minister Dlamini said the department would work closely with the social workers in the municipality to scale up their community outreach and improve the way they deal with the rising number of social challenges in the area.
The department is scheduled to hold a Social Work Indaba in Durban in November to engage social workers from all provinces on their challenges and how the department can give them more support.
Launched in September last year, Project Mikondzo has entered its second phase and will focus on improving the integration of resources at national, provincial and local spheres of government for better delivery of services, while continuing to provide immediate service delivery interventions where possible.
Source : SAnews.gov.za