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City holds meeting with Eldorado Park Community on drug abuse

On Monday, eight children were rescued by members of the Eldorado Park Local Drug Action Committee (LDAC). 
Yesterday, the City’s MMC for Public Safety, Michael Sun, led a delegation of senior JMPD officers, social workers and senior officials, as well as child protection activists and residents, in an urgent public meeting held in Eldorado Park.

Addressing the meeting, which also included the Gauteng Provincial Department of Social Development (GPDSD), MMC Sun emphasised the need to prioritise the safety and care of the rescued children, above focusing on political and personal differences.

MMC Sun was alerted late on Monday evening that children had allegedly been rescued by the Eldorado Park Local Drug Action Committee from a drug den. City’s officials were immediately called to intervene, as the safety of our children is a priority.

This comes after the Provincial Department of Social Development issued a statement attacking MMC for Health and Social Development, Dr Mpho Phalatse, by falsely accusing the City of failing to aid the children of Eldorado Park. However, during the community meeting, the Provincial Department of Social Development expressed its regret for issuing the statement.

Head of the Provincial Social Department, Makhukhu Mampuru, said it was unfortunate that MMC Phalatse and the City were wrongfully blamed. He conceded that his officials failed to act appropriately in addressing the needs of the community in their hour of need and that the press statement should not have been released.
MMC Phalatse said the attack on her and her office was misplaced and out of order. She said the Provincial Department should not have misinformed the public and placed the blame on her office for the shoddy work and lack of service delivery by provincial officials.

‘’The statement was based on a lie and took advantage of people’s lack of understanding of the legislative and policy directives of various spheres of government”, MMC Phalatse said.

All spheres of government need to do their part if we are going to make a tangible impact in reducing the scourge of drugs in our communities. There is no place for politicising service, when our youth continue to be victims of substance abuse. The City is doing its part by rolling out Drug Rehab Centres across its regions.

The Provincial Department of Social Development has a legislative responsibility to provide services to substance abusers. According to the Children’s’ Act, the removal and placement of children lies solely with the Provincial Department of Social Development and their Child Protection Organisation.

Additionally, municipal social workers do not have statutory powers, and the Local Drug Action Committees across the City has are only a small component of our fight against substance abuse.

Due to complacency from Provincial and National governments, the City of Johannesburg is going beyond its mandate and is instituting a holistic approach to substance abuse prevention and treatment. We will continue working with our LDAC’s to fight this scourge.

MMC Phalatse commended the Eldorado Park LDAC for their work in the area and for making sure that the affected children were rescued. MMC Sun told the community that his department will intensify its fight to rid the community of drugs and those who peddle them. He said the JMPD K9 Unit will work closely with the community to identify and raid local drug dens.

‘’We will continue to fight crime and drug peddling across the city and we want to assure the community of Eldorado Park that through working with other law enforcement agencies, we will raid drug dens’’ said MMC Sun.

Media enquiries:

Tanya Heydenrych
Media Specialist: Private Office of the Mayor
Cell: 081 417 1871

Karabo Tledima
Media Specialist: Private Office of the Mayor
Cell: 061 794 3819