Pubdate: Fri, 27 Jun 2003
Source: Cape Times (South Africa)
Copyright: 2003 Cape Times.


Drug abuse and illicit trafficking are among the biggest social, political, 
economic and security challenges facing the world in the 21st century, 
Social Development Minister Zola Skweyiya said yesterday.

Skweyiya was addressing the launch at the Cape Town city hall of the Ke 
Moja anti-drug abuse campaign in the Western Cape. The launch coincided 
with International Day Against Drug Abuse and was attended by hundreds of 
schoolchildren, MECs, Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula, Central 
Drug Authority chairman Frank Kahn as well as Rob Boone of the United 
Nations Office for Drugs and Crime.

"South Africa, with its porous borders and developed transport and 
telecommunications infrastructure, is being used increasingly by syndicates 
as a gateway for illicit trafficking to Asia, the Americas as well as the 
African continent," said Skweyiya.

He said the situation was worsened by the fact that drug trafficking was 
linked to other crimes such as car hijackings, robberies and smuggling of 
firearms and stolen vehicles.

Saying that the scourge of drugs was penetrating schools in a frightening 
manner, Skweyiya said: "What is even more frightening is that 79.3% of 
coloureds, 57% of Indians, 40% of whites and 37% of Africans confirmed in a 
Pretoria school survey that they knew of a friend or classmate who has been 
using illegal drugs. It is decimating our children and our youth."

He said the Ke Moja awareness campaign - which means No thanks, I'm fine 
(without drugs) in urban vernacular - would focus on the 10-18 age group. 
Its objectives were to educate youth about substance abuse, to effect 
changes in behaviour away from risk, and to change drug use attitudes from 
negative to positive.

Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula said drug addiction was "an 
enemy and the youth needed to be at the vanguard of the struggle" against 
it. - Sapa
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