The Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Cobus Dowry, has approved a framework and coordinating structure for the Western Department of Agriculture’s Mini-Drug Master Plan (MDMP).
The plan was launched in November last year and forms part of the National Drug Master Plan (NDMP), which mandates all government departments to develop programmes to facilitate access to quality and affordable substance abuse treatment services. he initiative convened a conference on the abuse of alcohol among farmworkers in the Western Cape in May last year. his followed increasing concern over the social wellbeing of farmworkers, spurred by the awareness of a high incidence of foetal alcohol syndrome in rural areas, as well as crime statistics revealing that 80% of all crime in rural areas is committed on farms and 80% of those crimes are alcohol-related.
A substance abuse forum was selected during the conference to drive the programme. Since then, the Western Department of since then, has provided R200 000 for the development of the plan, which Dowry recently approved. he forum will oversee and evaluate service providers charged with the implementation of a mini-drug plan. his will include, among other programmes, a needs identification and prevention programme, early intervention and treatment as well as research. he department has also committed to providing funding for the forum to reinforce its objectives by providing 5% of the funding for farmworker support programmes to organisations and service providers for substance abuse prevention, intervention or research initiatives. – Glenneis Erasmus