Counselling centre now open

2015-05-05 06:00

The Mitchell’s Plain branch of the Cape Town Drug Counselling Centre (CTDCC) has been officially opened.

On Friday 27 March, provincial minister of Social Development Albert Fritz did the official launch at the premises in Eastridge.

“It is with great pleasure that I cut the ribbon today. I am not a ribbon cutter, I prefer to get my hands dirty,” Fritz says.

He congratulated the team on keeping the programme alive in the community and urged more residents to get involved.

The centre was first established in 1985 and currently has two campuses.

Although this was the official launch, the centre opened their doors on 12 January (“Ready to roll, People’s Post, 13 January).

Windows, fittings, door frames, fixtures, new tiles and a fresh coat of paint are some of the modifications made.

“This had to be done to uphold the high quality service associated with the CTDCC,” director Ashley Potts said at the time.

The improvements have seen the five rooms divided into seven and the division of the communal toilets into three separate spaces.

Work started in December last year but contractors, thefts and other setbacks delayed the process.

This, however, created the opportunity to employ local contractors and create temporary employment at an affordable rate for the NPO.

Fritz congratulated the centre management for the venture and wished them good luck.

“This is the 25th centre we have opened and we are currently at a budget of R89m,” Fritz says.

The six-week outpatient programme is run free of charge to patients and their families.

“This is not just for the people who have become addicted, but also for those who are affected by drug addiction,” Potts says.

Recovering addict Michelle van Wyk says she is grateful for the role they played in her recovery.

“When I walked into the centre I thought ‘no way – these people don’t have the expertise to help me’. But they welcomed me with open arms. When I went there I had hit rock bottom. They have given my family and I the key, the experience and the tools to stay clean,” she says.

Integration into the community is important to recovery, Potts says.

Fritz agrees, saying: “Walking in and getting treatment and then walking back out and facing the merchant everyday is the true test.”

The programme is funded by the Department of Social Development, the community chest and the Lotto. This allows the centre to offer services for free, Potts explains.

Counsellor Ielhaam Jacobs says the team of four counsellors are looking forward to the next few months.

“I think the centre is a lot more accessible now. Since opening, intake has been picking up a lot more and more people are accessing treatment. This is usually a quiet time of the year for us,” Jacobs told People’s Post.

In the next few months the staff will look forward to extending the programme and hosting fundraisers.V

The centre is based at 1 Civet Street, Eastridge and intake is on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For more information call 021 397 0103/4 or 084 766 0200. Alternatively email

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