Rising unemployment, poverty blamed for Mpumalanga drug abuse

A survey shows that close to 70% of the province’s youth takes drugs.

A youth structure of the Democratic Alliance in Mpumalanga has blamed the province’s rising youth unemployment for the scourge of drug abuse.

The party is now calling on government to take a more serious stand against the problem, saying this can be done by first cleaning the schools of drugs.

DA Youth provincial leader Palesa Mobango said they have now launched a petition calling on the department of education to fight drugs by all means and work closely with the cops.

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She said a latest survey shows that youth unemployment in Mpumalanga sits at 41.5% and it was these high figures that were a cause for concern.

She said during a recent discussion with officials at the South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, they became concerned that the increasing unemployment rate “could be fuelling the youth towards drugs and substance abuse”.

“Given these high levels of unemployment, many of the province’s youth are now turning towards drugs and criminal activities,” Mobango said.

Rising unemployment, poverty blamed for Mpumalanga drug abuse

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Mobango said areas like Middelburg, Delmas, eMalahleni and Ermelo were just some of the areas in the province where the abuse of drugs was alarmingly on the rise.

The Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence said 67% of youth in the province tested positive for Tik, Nyaope and Dagga and most of these were languishing in unemployed in the townships.

Mobango says they are also concerned that:

• There is a long waiting list at the Council’s facilities for people wishing to be assisted to quit substance abuse.

• There was no more help for those who have to go back to their homes after being helped quit.

“We hope that our petition will encourage Premier Refilwe Mtsweni and her government to urgently address drug abuse amongst the youth, especially in schools before even more youth lose their futures to drugs,” she said.

“This ANC-led government must do more to ensure that schools are kept drug-free, and that employment opportunities are availed to the youth in order to alleviate youth unemployment,” Mobango said.

(edited by MLM)

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ANC “outnumbered us” to pass resolution giving Muzi Chirwa more bodyguards – DA

Quite a strongman in regional politics, it looks now that the beefing up of his security was a decision taken because of threats on his life but also it happens three days after the chaotic ANCYL congress in Badplaas that left an MKMVA member dead and one of the mayor’s two bodyguards arrested.

The Democratic Alliance says they were outnumbered when a resolution to appoint a private security company to provide extra bodyguards to Gert Sibande mayor Muzi Chirwa was passed.

The resolution was passed during a special council sitting on 30 May 2018 – just three days after the Gert Sibande ANCYL regional congress in Badplaas that saw MKMVA member Samson Madonsela shot dead. Chirwa’s personal bodyguard Phelele Shongwe, who is also an MKMVA member and who was there to provide security to the conference with other veterans, was arrested and later released by the court on R10 000 bail.

DA councillor in the Gert Sibande district municipality, Muso Kubheka, says Chirwa now has five bodyguards and a company called NJS Security was appointed.

“We said why don’t we take that money and improve service delivery rather than beefing up the mayor’s security.

“We were outnumbered by ANC councillors. They supported the report which said that there are a number of service delivery protests and the mayor should be protected because he receives death threats through his cellphone. We rejected this request,” Kubheka said.

ANC "outnumbered us" to pass resolution giving Muzi Chirwa more bodyguards - DA

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Chirwa previously had two guards since his election as mayor in August 2016 but it now seems NJS Security has provided the three extra guards.

The Gert Sibande district municipality has 19 seats, 14 of which were won by the ANC, DA 3 and EFF 2.

Kubheka said the DA was the only party that opposed the request to beef up Chirwa’s bodyguards and “it was on record”.

A screenshot of a piece of paper seen by the 013NEWS reporter a week ago shows that NJS Security will charge the district municipality about R262 000 monthly, appointed “in emergency” to provide “personal security to the Executive Mayor on an urgent basis,” it reads.

Chirwa’s spokesman Lungisizwe Mkhwanazi didn’t answer e-mailed questions.

(edited by ZK)

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Mabuza corruption “left communities in ruin” – DA

The allegations are made by the opposition following a visit to Lekwa and Govan Mbeki.

An oversight visit by the DA has led to Deputy President David Mabuza being blamed for a failed housing project.

The party says they found people living in “undignified conditions” with collapsing sanitation services.

People feel they are being failed by the ANC government, DA spokesman Solly Malatsi said.

“The blame must be laid squarely at the feet of the province’s former Premier, DD Mabuza, because on his watch the ANC’s rampant corruption and failed service delivery left communities in ruin,” Malatsi said.

“It’s an indictment on Mabuza that the people of Lekwa and Holfontein are forced to live in unfit conditions, trapped in poverty as the corruption-riddled ANC clings onto power,” he said.

Homes of those who applied were being sold to other people by corrupt officials, the party says.

“In Ward 10, the construction of RDP houses is set to commence soon, however, there is no beneficiaries list. Our people deserve nothing less than qualified, safe and dignified houses,” said Malatsi.

(edited by ZK)

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DD Mabuza departure biggest relief for Mpumalanga – DA

He was elected to go hold national office during an ANC national conference on 18 December 2017 at the Nasrec Expo Centre, Soweto but has also been appointed the country’s deputy president.

ANC deputy president David Mabuza’s departure to occupy national office is a “biggest relief” for the people of Mpumalanga, former DA party leader James Masango has said.

Masango, who was succeeded by Jane Sithole during a provincial congress on Saturday, said Mabuza kept the province at ransom and “there was no one in the ANC brave enough to challenge him”.

“The departure has brought great relief to the people of Mpumalanga,” Masango said while on stage at the Graceland Casino in Secunda addressing delegates.

“The autocratic leadership of a man described as a mafia by members of his own party,” Masango said.

“Mabuza kept this province at ransom for almost 10 years,” he said.

DD Mabuza departure biggest relief for Mpumalanga - DA

“There was no one brave enough to challenge him in the ANC and those who tried were thrown out or silenced not to talk about him,” Masango told delegates.

He said though this brought great relief it remains to be seen what it means for South Africa to have a man like him as deputy president.

He said Mpumalanga is a large rural area and although two decades have passed into democracy “but the people of Mpumalanga don’t know what this animal called freedom is”.

“Opportunities are not given to all but to the connected few members of the ANC. And even though some jobs are advertised but the preferred candidates are actually known and the interview is a mere formality,” Masango said.

He addressed delegates as the outgoing leader of the Mpumalanga DA.

On Friday, the Mpumalanga DA bid Masango, the seasoned leader who had served since 1994, a farewell party at the Graceland Casino.

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The congress on Saturday elected Sithole as the provincial leader, Bosman Grobler as the chairman.

DD Mabuza departure biggest relief for Mpumalanga - DA

Trudie Grove-Morgan was elected to deputise Sithole, Themba Mlotshwa to deputise Grobler.

Palesa Mobango became the provincial chairwoman of the DA Youths, deputised by Kuzwakele Mdau and Linky Shongwe.

(edited by ZK)

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James Masango to retire, gives way to Jane Sithole

A succession plan will see new leaders taking the reigns when a provincial elective congress is held in March 2018.

Mpumalanga DA leader James Masango is retiring from active politics, a spokesperson of the party revealed.

A provincial elective congress at the Graceland Casino in Secunda in March this year will elect new leaders, with Masango voluntarily stepping aside for Jane Sithole to take the baton.

“He is old and has served many years in the party,” provincial spokeswoman Dumisile Masuku told the 013NEWS reporter on Thursday this week.

“He is retiring,” she said.

“And I think after the general elections in 2019 he won’t come back to the legislature. He wants to rest now,” Masuku said.

Nominations for leaders to serve in the Mpumalanga DA closed a week ago and show that Sithole, who is the sole nominee for the position of provincial leader, will emerge unopposed.

SEE ALSO: Jane Sithole to emerge unopposed as Mpumalanga DA leader

Masuku said the party will announce the full list of the nominated candidates but it’s believed Bosman Grobler will be the new chair.

Masango, Sithole and Grobler are the only three members of the DA in the Mpumalanga legislature.

The DA has the positions of leader and that of chairperson and the leader, as in Mmusi Maimane who is the national leader, is the face of the party, and the chairperson, like Athol Trolip, who is currently the national chair, convenes and presides over party meetings.

Sithole, who is currently Mpumalanga chair, will take over as the leader and Grobler may take this seat to become the new chair.

“We will announce the nominated candidates anytime from now,” she said this week.

(edited by MLM)

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