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MAHWELERENG: Drug abuse is a societal problem, the fight against drug use cannot be fought by the police alone – residents, business people and churches must also play a crucial role in fighting the scourge they represent, says Mogalakwena Mayor Andrina Matsemela.
Matsemela spoke during a drugs and substance abuse awareness function held by the municipality and Red Cross at Mahwelereng Staduim in June. The aim of the march, which was coupled with a soccer tournament, was to raise awareness about substance abuse.
“I admire the Red Cross management and Drug Addicts and Convicted Criminals (DACC) for their commitment in fighting drugs which are destroying the lives of our children and the youth of our country,” she said.
Mayor Matsemela added that this is the time we need each other, lets us strengthen our relationship with Community Policing Forums to eradicate the supply of drugs such as nyaope in our communities.
“It is very disturbing because we know people who selling nyaope to our children but we fold our arms as if there is nothing happening," she says. "The child of my neighbour is my child, if you see your neighbours child taking drugs reprimand that child and if know the drug lord please report that person to the police."
Mayor Matsemela said they are aware that cops work tirelessly to deal with illegal drugs, however that was not enough as the number of new addicts in the community is increasing. She added that through this awareness, we call on everyone to action, to work both individually and collectively to root out drugs in our communities.
“Recently, the consumption of alcohol by our children especially those who are under 18 years, as parents let us do something about this. We want our youth to be conscious, progressive and propel this country to prosperity. We want them to pursue healthy lifestyles, free from drugs,” added Matsemela.
The Mayor added discussions are underway for the establishment of a rehabilitation centre which will be named Andrina Matsemela Rehab Centre.
The participants of the march and the annual soccer tournament were youth organizations and mainly school learners from eight schools in Mokopane North and South. The schools who advanced to finals are Somavunga High School from Tshamahansi Village and EDL Rampola from Mahwelereng. Somavunga won by 4-2 on penalties to left the trophy.