Druglords targeted

2013-06-03 00:00

DRUG lords beware, a campaign to tackle social ills like crime and drug abuse is about to take off in the northern suburbs.

It could gather the same momentum as the ongoing campaign in Chatsworth where a number of druglords were recently arrested.

A packed meeting at the Truro Centre last Thursday heard MEC for Finance, Ina Cronjé, describe the campaign.

Cronjé said that each KZN cabinet minister was a champion of a different area. She was the political champion of the uMgungundlovu District. Working with the Office of the Premier and the Msunduzi Municipality, she had invited representatives of the community to kick-start a campaign against social ills in the northern areas.

She added that following this initiative, the campaign will be extended to the whole district to address different social ills affecting communities. These include crime, domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse and teenage pregnancy.  She said the campaign was about the beautification and cleaning up of areas as well. Representatives of schools, religious and community organisations as well as sporting bodies welcomed the campaign and readily agreed to be part of it.

Ashin Singh of the South African Minority Rights Equality Movement (Samrem) said that retired police men and women who were members of the organisation could hand over the names of 20 druglords operating in the area.

CEO of Northdale Hospital Felicity du Preez offered the facilities of the hospital and secretarial support for the campaign. “This is because at the end of the day, the hospital picks up the pieces,” she said.

After lengthy discussion, uMgungundlovu district mayor Yusuf Bhamjee offered a way forward. He suggested an all-day workshop to plan the campaign. His idea was readily accepted as people felt that much more time was needed to get to the heart of the problems and to come up with creative solutions.

Cronjé said that the campaign against social ills was not a once-off event, but something the provincial government hoped would remain an ongoing project in partnership with communities.

In Chatsworth, the “United campaign against crime” has been widely heralded as a success story. The Post newspaper became an active part of the campaign and invited its readers to come up with the names and addresses of drug dealers, peddlers and runners. Premier Zweli Mkhize said the paper received a staggering number of responses from residents who were prepared to work with people they could trust.

Various task teams were set up. As a result of this work a number of alleged drug dealers were picked up including alleged drug kingpin Yeganathan Pillay.

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