Education MEC’s drug raid counter-productive

Khume Ramulifho MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC of Education

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng welcomes any move to clamp down on drugs in the province.

However, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi’s drug raid on Westbury High School last week was completely counter-productive and is an indication of weak school safety plan in Gauteng.

The MEC’s comments that two girls caught in possession of dagga on the property were disappointing because they are “too young to be doing drugs” and “they are girls” are ridiculous.

Further the MEC asked the two girls in question to simply apologise to the school management for their actions.

Not only do his comments undermine the fight against drugs but a lack of response to the pupils’ actions opens the space for further abuse of drugs at this and other schools across the province.

Instead of provincial government fighting this scourge at the root of its cause, the MEC announced that he was putting together a dedicated team to deal with drugs and gangs in schools.

This will not stop children accessing drugs outside of school, nor will it bring dealers or drug lords to book.

Gauteng needs specialised Drug Units which have been recognised the world over for their success. This will go a long way towards tackling the core of this issue, as well as off-shoot concerns in our schools.

I will be submitting questions to the MEC to interrogate what exactly this team will be mandated to do and what timeframe he expects this to be established.