Cape Agulhas Municipality shares Local Drug Action Committee success
I was invited to a Substance Abuse Awareness program hosted by the Cape Agulhas Municipality and what I saw was impressive.
The municipality has been working with the chairperson of the Western Cape Substance Abuse Forum, Chantelle Pepper, over the last year to get a Local Drug Action Committee (LDAC) up and running.
It has been a key priority to assist municipalities across the province to establish these committees, in accordance with the National Drug Master Plan (NDMP) 2019-2024.
The Western Cape Department of Social Development has assisted 17 municipalities in the province to establish LDACs.
LDACs are useful platforms to engage residents and map service needs in the substance abuse space. Some of the mandates of an LDAC are:
- Ensure that effect is given to the NDMP in the relevant municipality.
- Compile and implement an action plan to combat substance abuse in the relevant municipality in cooperation with provincial and local governments.
- Ensure that its action plan is in line with the priorities and the objectives of the integrated Provincial Drug Master Plan & that it is aligned with the strategies of government departments.
In the Cape Agulhas Municipality an LDAC was established in August 2022. Since its inception it has already achieved much, and it is just getting started!
This LDAC went on a roadshow to other towns in the municipality to encourage residents to establish sub-LDACs. These sub-LDACs are running their own substance abuse prevention initiatives in their respective communities.
Thanks to the support of local stakeholders, over 50 LDAC members and other residents also received Substance Use Disorder (SUD) support group training. There are now various SUD support groups in Arniston, Napier, Elim, Struisbaai, and Bredasdorp. The Hope Revolution will continue to supervise and capacitate these groups.
Cape Agulhas Municipality is the perfect example of why a whole-of-society and whole-of-government approach are needed if we want to tackle social ills and effect change in communities. Here, we see the efficacy of provincial and local government working together, with civil society and communities to assist those battling with substance abuse.
This isn’t the only municipality where LDACs are functioning successfully. Similar successes have been seen in municipalities like Mossel Bay, Cape Town, and Theewaterskloof to mention a few.
I commend the innovation and dedication of municipalities and communities making these LDACs work for them.
You are certainly on the path to changing lives and becoming a beacon of hope for the rest of the province.
The WCDSD will also continue doing its part with R108.8 million allocated to its Substance Abuse, Prevention and Rehabilitation programme in 2023/2024.
For information on Substance Abuse Treatment Centres in the province: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/directories/facilities/736