Mpumalanga government is losing the fight against drug and substance abuse

By Bosman Grobler MPL, Spokesperson on Community Safety, Security & Liaison:

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is concerned that drug related crimes are the only crimes in the province that increases year on year, with no real signs of bringing this pandemic under control.

Drug abuse and drug related crimes are out of control in Mpumalanga, and this society ill is far reaching and affecting everyone in the province.

Recent crime stats indicated that for the last year, drug related crimes had increased by 18.5% in the province. Furthermore, this crime has increased by a staggering 167% over the past five years.

The recent crime stats points out other crimes that have increased – and it is well known that it is due to the direct result of drug related crimes. Most police stations also showed an increase in robbery, petty and contact crimes.

According to the crimes stats, Nelspruit police station had the highest amount of drug related cases reported followed by Bushbuckridge and eMalahleni.

This country would be far safer with specialised units, which are fully equipped, with highly trained policemen/women who can turn the tide against such crimes. We also need an effective justice system.

The DA has been calling for such specialised drug units to be established for several years, and year on year MEC Vusi Shongwe, stated on numerous occasions that they are looking into establishing such a unit, but to date no such unit has been established while drug crime continues to rise.

In a Legislature sitting on Tuesday, Shongwe said that: they know about drug crimes, and that they are concerned, but that all crimes are important. This is nothing more than the ANC government shying away from the responsibility of providing strong political leadership to get the specialised drug unit operational.

The time is now, drug abuse and drug related crimes affect society as a whole and we need to put a stop to this before tomorrows’ generation is lost.

The DA’s vision for South Africa is one in which our country is safer through a competent police service and successful prosecution.