Midvaal Local Municipality warns learners on illegal use of substances.

Midvaal Local Municipality warns learners on illegal use of substances.

Date: June 27, 2017
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Midvaal Local Municipality warns learners on illegal use of substances.

By Petronell Ngonyama and Tshwaresa Malatji

Johannesburg 21 June: As part of Youth Month celebrations, Midvaal Local Municipality one of the local councils engaged in the Gender Links Centres of Excellence in Local Government hosted an Anti-substance abuse and illicit trafficking campaign at New Hope Secondary School. The campaign addressed the learners and parents around the community about Drug and Alcohol abuse, HIV and AIDS, Gender Based Violence (GBV) among other related matters, which are a troubling factor in the community.

A panel of high-level guests including Executive mayor Nyaku of Midvaal Local Municipality and Constable Letsele of the South African Police Service (SAPS)   attended the event.

The anti-substance abuse and illicit trafficking campaign served as an educational initiative for the learners.  Learners face multiple challenges such as peer pressure and poverty, which are some of the contributing factors in making learners drop out of school or engage in irresponsible behaviors.

The learners performed a number of activities as a showcase of what is happening around them. They performed a drama focusing on rape, gender based violence, HIV and drug and alcohol abuse.

Constable Letsele reported that they have a high number of young people arrested, because of they use of substance abuse and drugs. She warned the learners that if they catch them using illegal substances they would pay a high price for their deeds. Letsele pleaded with the learners to assist the police in catching the criminals who sell drugs so that they can arrest them.

The local municipality noted that it is very important for the community to work together in fighting against the issues that are affecting young people and women. Speaking on the new condom distribution policy principal Letsatsi said, “Learners are coming from poverty stricken areas and government is spending a lot of money in condoms which the learners are not using them because they cannot eat a sweet with a plastic”. He pleaded with the government to make sanitary available for the learners, because learners miss classes not because they want to but because they do not have pads.

Nyaku, thanked all the learners and parents for showing support at the event. The mayor continued to plead with the learners to stay away from all the negative factors because they will ruin their future. “It is very important for the youth to focus on their future while they still have the chance, civil society groups and the youth from Midvaal should fighting for socio-economic rights, especially when it comes to HIV and AIDS and protecting the vulnerable”.

Tshwaresa Malatji and Petronell Ngonyama are media interns Gender Links.

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