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Pursuant to an article in today’s Daily Voice, 28 June 2018, the DA in the Western Cape would like to commend a community in Mitchells Plain for alerting the South African Police Service (SAPS) about a primary school’s groundsman who was in possession of drugs worth R500 000, along with two illegal firearms. The tip off led to the suspect’s subsequent arrest.

I am pleased with the community’s swift action, as well as SAPS’ response to this matter. This once again clearly demonstrates what can be achieved when communities play an active role in combatting and tackling all illegal and unwelcome activities in and around our schools.

I therefore call on all residents across the Western Cape to follow the example set by this community and immediately report any suspicious activities happening in and around our schools to the SAPS.

This week also marks South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence’s (SANCA) Drug Awareness Week. According to the South African Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (SACENDU) project, in South Africa, 80% of male youth deaths are alcohol-related and drug consumption is estimated to be double that of the global average. Furthermore, an estimated 60% of crimes committed in South Africa involve the use of substances.

This arrest is further pleasing, as earlier this week in Mitchells Plain, the Provincial Minister of Social Development, Albert Fritz, as part of drug awareness week, conducted door-to-door visits to make residents aware of the dangers of drug abuse and where to seek assistance.

As the DA in the Western Cape, we remain committed to working with all our communities to ensure that young learners remain in school, and are safe in their learning environments, ensuring that learners are granted an equal opportunity to excel at school.

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