Pubdate: Tue, 23 Oct 2007
Source: Pretoria News, The (South Africa)
Copyright: 2007 The Pretoria News
Bookmark: (Youth)
Bookmark: (Drug Education)


South African schools have become battlegrounds and  havens for drug 
trafficking, Social Development Deputy  Minister Jean Swanson-Jacobs 
said yesterday.

Swanson-Jacobs was addressing guests at the Ke Moja  Hip-Hop 
Anti-Drug Campaign at Mannah Guest house in  Kempton Park.

"Drug trafficking has become the order of the day in  our schools," she said.

She said drug and alcohol abuse was a serious social  challenge in the country.

Swanson-Jacobs said drug abuse was fuelling high levels  of violence, 
crime, road accidents, teenage depression  and suicide.

To combat this increasing problem, it was important to  find new ways 
of reaching the youth.

"This campaign should be seen as our national strategy  to combat 
substance abuse, focusing specifically on  prevention and early 
intervention programmes," she  said.

The department intended to use hip-hop music as a  transformation 
tool because it was the language youth  understood.

"Over the past 30 years, hip-hop has grown to become  the most 
popular music genre in the world today amongst  the 14 to 24 age group."

She said the aim of the gathering was to consider how  the Ke Moja 
Campaign could use hip-hop culture to its  advantage.

The structures of the Central Drug Authority, such as  Provincial 
Drug Forums and Local Drug Action committees  should both facilitate 
and be strengthened by this  campaign, Jean Swanson-Jacobs said.
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