Min. Fernandez calls on society to assist in our fight against substance abuse | Western Cape Government


Min. Fernandez calls on society to assist in our fight against substance abuse

26 June 2019

The Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) calls on society to assist in our fight against substance abuse, as we observe the International Day Against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking on Wednesday, 27 June 2019.


The Department has allocated R109.8 million for the 2019/20financial year, to continue our work in tackling this scourge. Furthermore, since 2014, “we have provided early intervention services to well-over 30 000 individuals, and aftercare and reintegration services to nearly 9000 individuals,” says Minister Fernandez.


The legacy of Apartheid has been manifested in various ways since 1994. One direct consequence is the increased prevalence of substance misuse and abuse. A major social problem, it has a debilitating impact on South African society. Moreover, substance abuse has a direct relationship with the increase in many social problems, ranging from poverty to crime, gender-based violence and child abuse.


Given this context, establishing and improving existing substance abuse interventions in the Western Cape remains an urgent priority. Above all, collaborative strategies between government, stakeholders across society and the affected communities, is what is required to win the fight against substance abuse.


DSD continues to be at the forefront of the fight against substance abuse, focusing on rendering;

·   Awareness and primary prevention services;

·   Early intervention;

·   Treatment centres;

·   Reintegration and after-care support;

·   Integrated programmes with the Departments of Education and Health as well as Local Drug Action Committees of Local Authorities;

·   Co-ordination with partners, eg. NGO sector;

·   Standardising professional and management best practices;

·   Facilitating diversion programmes with the Social Crime Prevention Unit as a means of intervention with the youth at risk.


Minister Fernandez also highlights that “Our Department has grown its network of funded services from a mere 7 in 2009, to now funding 53 organizations working at over 75 sites across the province. The 75 sites include the 6 funded inpatient treatment centres.

“We have specifically targeted treating young people, in order to address the rising tide of youth alcohol and drug usage,” says Fernandez.

Furthermore, we are capacitating our services with training in the Life skills CognitiveBehaviour programme as an initiative with Rotatory international and trainers from Holland.


We urge all residents suffering from substance abuse to make use of our services. Any body needing more information or assistance can contact us on the www.heretohelp.co.za website, or the DSD hotline on 0800 220 250. We can beat drug and alcohol abuse, ‘Better Together’.

Media Enquiries: 

Joshua Covenant Chigome

Spokesperson for Sharna Fernandez, Minister of Social Development

Western Cape Government

7th floor, 14 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town, 8000

Tel : (021) 483 9217

Cell :  083 661 4949

Email : joshua.chigome@westerncape.gov.za