Vavi: Unemployment fuels sustance abuse

2011-03-16 21:12

Johannesburg - The widespread poverty and unemployment in South Africa is fuelling drug and alcohol abuse, Congress of SA Trade Unions general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Wednesday.

"It is unemployment that drives so many to the booze and other substance abuse," he said in an address prepared for delivery at the 2nd Biennial Substance Abuse Summit in Durban.

"That is why the debate around the New Growth Path is so relevant. Unless we can build an economy based on manufacturing industry and create millions more decent sustainable jobs, we will not be able to resolve any of our deep-rooted social problems like substance abuse.

"Unless we can offer hope to our youth, we will never to able to wean them away from practices which promise some short-term escape, but inflict deadly long-term damage to their bodies and minds," he said.

South Africa was faced with higher unemployment rates than any middle income country, with almost four out of ten South Africans wanting to find work, but could not.

Women and the youth were the hardest hit by unemployment. Seventy-three percent of the unemployed were under 35-years-old.

Twenty-five percent of the population lived on social grants, Vavi said.

"The economy reproduces poverty, and the state throws money at this problem, without intervening to change its structure."

Massive inequalities

He bemoaned the massive inequalities that South Africa is faced with.

A source of the economic challenges faced by the country was the state of the education system.

Poverty, unemployment and a lack of recreational facilities left young people feeling hopeless and worthless, he said.

"If they see no prospect of ever getting a decent job and enough income to live a normal life, seeking oblivion through drugs and/or alcohol becomes a tempting escape route."

The country had an army of six million people - mostly black, female and the young with no education and skills - who wanted to find jobs but could not.

"This is what I have called a ticking bomb. This is the crux of the problem and this is where most our energies should be deployed to fix all our social problems including the scourge of HIV and Aids, the crisis of rape of the old and young, and violence.

"This conference will be missing a point if we cannot see the strong interrelations between these challenges. We are talking here about the collapse of families that used to play such an important role as a support system of our communities. We are talking to the collapse of values."

Young children of eight and nine were drinking alcohol, with drug abuse generally beginning around the age of 13 or 14.

There were many initiatives in place to curb substance abuse but they would fail if the problems of unemployment and poverty were not addressed. Vavi said.

  • Dave - 2011-03-16 21:24

    At last, some one says something that is true!!!!!!!!

      TBOOZE - 2011-03-17 09:02

      his all talk no action

      Shadoz - 2011-03-17 09:24

      he is just repeating something that is already known. The DA said this a long time ago.

  • Jayjay001 - 2011-03-16 21:28

    I for one am witness to see the effects of drugs and/or alcohol on our Nation. It's widespread. And we have absolutely no support in the townships. I truly hope that Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous can be brought into every township in South Africa. The middle classes can afford Drug therapy treatment, Rehabilitation centres and other therapy specialists. Most of our country can't. And the damage is virtually always tied to crime we all see and are all victim to. A drug/alcohol free nation is a free nation.

      Shadoz - 2011-03-17 09:26

      why must the goverment do something about it? Why don't you do something about it if you feel this strongly? All that you doing is saying something needs to be done. well do something..

  • Chaos - 2011-03-16 21:34

    Whats a "sustance"?

      Pencilgraffiti - 2011-03-16 22:08

      Yes... Where is the editor?

      paulf - 2011-03-17 05:52

      Substance abuse is like Dagga etc. Well it is very true what Vavi says here as I have witnessed it.

      Mark - 2011-03-17 07:05

      Must be something between sustenance and substance???

      Shadoz - 2011-03-17 09:27


  • Yoni - 2011-03-16 21:34

    I've seen how "productive" the ones are who are "given" jobs without any merit. Maybe if we reduce the grants there won't be money to spend on liquor. This is a moral issue, it is about a majority of people in our country who are morally bankrupt. There are millions of poor Indian and Chinese but they are disciplined and committed people. In S.A. "the people" just demand and expect to be given handouts, food, jobs, degrees, driver's licences and so the list goes on. It is the story of Africa, the shackled continent.

      POLLENYS - 2011-03-16 21:42

      Correct. "Unless we can offer hope to our youth . . ." The best hope you can offer them is a decent education, so as to qualify for jobs on merit. Passing matric with 30% does not contribute to this.

  • PilgrimX - 2011-03-16 21:35

    Did the writer take a sustance?

  • mariomobster - 2011-03-16 21:42

    Now that is WELL SAID and TOTALLY TRUE! All that needs to be added is who's to blame - --- - the RULING PARTY. How are they going to fix this problem? They have no interest in fixing it since there is no money to be made or political points to be scored.

  • Sword&Cross - 2011-03-16 21:46

    The suspicion that Vavi and all the ANC alliance are on woonga sharpens into fact, no longer speculation as the entire country crumbles into dysfunctionality.

  • mariomobster - 2011-03-16 21:52

    Oh and before I forget - SA's seen NOTHING yet: The minority group that is accused of hording all the wealth in this country, is slowly but surely being forced to join the unemployed and poverty stricken multitude. This is where the skinhead and neo-nazi groups start to gain momentum. It's easy to convince a youngster to hate along racial lines when the ruling party is so obviously persecuting you because of your skin color. You aint seen nothing yet!

  • Yoni - 2011-03-16 22:16

    Why don't we legalise recreational drug use so that all retards who wants to use it can remove themselves from of the gene pool? That way the drug trafficking market will crash reducing income of the traders as well. If it is legalised it might also lose some of its "forbidden fruit" appeal. Maybe government can also start a state drug manufacturing company in addition to the state mining company, and give the controlling stake to some minister's son. I mean, they're already handing out free housing, condoms, electricity and matric certificates!

  • Macho Mike - 2011-03-16 22:23

    Eish, i can't belief someone she speaks true from the heart. Yebo Vavi, what you say is too true. But the African National Circus, she make problem to start with. The clowns put money in their pockets, not in country or towns. The clowns, she waste omningi monies.The clowns, she makes promises she cannot keep. The clowns, she not worry about health, education, investment, police etc. The clowns, she is excellent and top noch with corruption.The umntwana clown, she speak for the buziness of nationali-zashun of mines. The clowns not make new jobs. Then the young ones she got no job, no money, no future, so she rob to buy drugs and utshwala and that is why my friend, we have such substance problem. Hau, and the clowns, she can't see this.

  • Squeeze - 2011-03-16 22:28

    The government is finding yet another pointless crusade to follow by trying to change the legal age of drinking. It's just an excuse for someone to say "hey look what I did". Will it change anything? The answer is so obvious: NO. What we need is to concentrate on education which in turn leads to employment which in turn leads to wealth creation etc....These are the real issues which need to be adddressed. What else is there to do if you are down and out? If there is to be a focus on Alcohol Abuse introduce more intervention programmes in the relevant areas...It's so sad how the government always misses the bigger picture. Where did all the smoking bans curb the habit...nonsense, if you want to smoke you still smoke and maybe now contribute less to the economy by staying at home and not going out where you can't smoke. Health issues, ha ha, who are they trying to fool. Sort out our hospitals first, BASIC NEEDS, this is what should be focused on..Viva ANC...keep up the good work

  • michaelp1 - 2011-03-16 22:38

    When is this man going to start accepting that COSATU is one of THE MAJOR causes of unemployment in this country??? HE is therefore as much to blame for substance abuse as anyone.

      mariomobster - 2011-03-16 22:48

      That is a good point!

  • Mabhulwana - 2011-03-16 22:46

    Are the twelve year old school kidz taking drugs(and alcohol) also unemployed?

  • Tobie - 2011-03-16 23:29

    My suggestions remains, ban all beer with a content of more than 340ml and ban all "papsakke', all taverns will soon be out of business

  • cgtours - 2011-03-16 23:36

    Stop breeding like rabbits, feed the children you already have! Is there anyway that somebody!! Just somebody withd children/ church whatever can get some sense of responsiblity into these restricted minds !! that everybody MUST sooner or later take responsibility!!but ever colour can go and tell these rural uneducated inbeciles do stop breeding what tou cannot FEED ..if you already HAVE CHILDREN YOU CANNOT SUPPORT, the hell who must support them because you cannot keep your legs closed!! For Gods sake how much brains do you need ! Where the hell are the majority eventually come out of the bloody bush.!! Scary that we still have so many uneducated,illerate woman in South Africa..NO now the ANC want to put these poor souls in the suburbs amongst professors/teachers/top qualified neighbours and THEY THINK they will force everybody to accept.Are they crazy! Subject these people to ridcule?,.Give them homes in ACAcIA pARK OR NEXT DOOR TO THE mADAM THAT GOES SHOOPING IN dUBAI WITH tAXPAYERS MONEY AND FRIENDS=. EVEN CHILDREN !!now SHE HAS BEEN MOVED TO THE pRISONS! COST tAXPAYERS A FORTUNE AND STILL DOES! fIRED? no n nO. Put these people where you Policionations live? NNo why not??No way we are also heading for civil war !! It is coming for sure0 just down the road..

  • croix - 2011-03-16 23:50

    "....the state throws money at this problem". Hey, Vavi - they also throw billions their families' way, instead of creating conditions to encourage businesses to invest and expand - thus causing more permanent employment. And don't get us started on education and skills training now ....!! Stop flitting around the world Mr President and start paying attention to the problems RIGHT HERE! Let me assure you: you are no great shakes when it comes to international mediation. You better solve our problems first - and QUICK.

  • maseratifitt - 2011-03-17 04:20

    Tell us something we don't know. Also please tell us why the "Alliance" tolerates and befriends known "druglords". Then also tell us why you do nothing about the problem.

  • Saamprater - 2011-03-17 05:53

    Unemployment does NOT fuel substance abuse. Keep on insisting to top jobs only and never let the minimum pay go away. It's better not to earn at all. VIVA your policies are catching up to you, VIVA ANC will ensure the system implodes. Viva!! Blade, Malema, Vavi, you are the true champions with JZ leading this internally sick cabal.

  • Boerseun - 2011-03-17 06:11

    Again vavi fails to address the real problem: Uncontrolled breeding. This is a very unconvenient truth that he simply ignores, as it does not suit his ideological views. Businesses are not created to supply jobs, but to make products, provide some service and to make profit. Jobs are in effect a byproduct of this. If people want to be given a job, they shouldcreate their own business and give a job to themselves, as this idea of being owed a job is a lie.

  • Looter - 2011-03-17 08:42

    Bull SH1t, how many people booze it up in GP every weekend! are all these people unemployed? They go clubbing and party all night! Is this the abuse you are referring too? If i wanna smoke or drink something then thats my long as it is not affecting anyone else then you have nothing to say about it!

  • jmere2 - 2011-03-17 09:28

    this is correct

  • VuyosWors - 2011-03-17 09:31

    Problem is that overbreeding results in unemployment. Why dont these idiots address this problem instead of waiting around for the dwindling white population to create more jobs for them?

  • Audi - 2011-03-17 10:08

    Is that substance or sustance.......!!!!!!

  • gekko - 2011-03-17 11:21

    Yes Vavi tell your ANC comrades to stop lining their pockets at the expense of the nation.IDIOT!!

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