15 March 2005
A national campaign has been launched to raise awareness among South Africans, particularly young people, about the dangers of drug abuse.
The campaign, dubbed “Ke Moja”, meaning “No Thanks”, is jointly sponsored by the Department of Social Development and the United Nations Office for Drug Control (UNODC).
Speaking at the launch in Johannesburg on Friday, Social Development Director-General Vusi Madonsela said the campaign would also promote healthy behaviour among South African teenagers.
The department and the UNODC commissioned the Human Science Research Council (HSRC) to assess drug abuse related perceptions and behaviour among teenagers in disadvantaged areas in Gauteng.
Madonsela said the HSRC would be making recommendations about the suitability of campaign material targeting that age group.
Gauteng Social Development MEC Bob Mabaso said the campaign sought to shield young people from the pressures that led them into substance abuse.
UNODC representative Jonathan Lucas said that international strategies to reduce the supply of illicit drugs, mainly through law enforcement measures, had to be complemented by efforts to curb demand for drugs.
“Unless we are successful in addressing drug abuse in our communities, on our streets and in our schools, we will not make sustainable progress”, Lucas said.
“For this to happen we need to mobilise civil society as a whole, starting with the schools, parents and teachers.”