City of Joburg encourages drug addicts to use the free rehab centre at Joubert Park

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba and Member of the Mayoral Committee for Health and Social Development, Dr Mpho Phalatse officially open the Joubert Park community-based substance abuse treatment centre in Johannesburg, 7 August 2018. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

‘If you want to change, you can because we are here to help you to change your life before it’s too late,’ said Health and Social Development MMC Dr Mpho Phalatse.

The City of Johannesburg on Thursday encouraged drug addicts to use the rehab centre at the Joubert Park Community Based Substance Abuse Treatment Centre.

The Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Health and Social Development, Dr Mpho Phalatse, told about 50 addicts who had gathered at the park, that the rehab centre was there to help them.

In August last year, Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba and Phalatse launched the rehab centre.

“If you want to change, you can because we are here to help you to change your life before it’s too late,” said Phalatse.

Phalatse was leading a march from Nugget Street to Joubert Park to commemorate International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, in partnership with various civil society organisations, to raise awareness on the scourge of drug abuse and illicit trafficking.

She encouraged drug users that they should seek help. Phalatse said some addicts sell their bodies in exchange for drugs and that can put their lives in danger.

“We will develop more programmes to help all the drug addicts, because they have a lot of talents which are being wasted and are not being noticed,”said Phalatse.

A recovering addict from East London, Mveleli Taweti shared his story, saying in 2015 he came to Joburg, the city of gold, to look for better opportunities but not knowing that it would be difficult.

“I looked for a job everywhere and I did not get any, so the way life was so difficult, I could not afford to rent a place. I then decided to stay on the street because there we were not paying anything,” said Taweti.

He said he was very lucky to get a second chance and was now attending sessions at the rehab centre and he is getting much better.

“I would encourage everyone who uses drugs to seek for help, it is possible. I can assure you that once you get help, you will never want to go back again,” shared Taweti.

The recovering drug addicts were holding billboards on which were written “Say no to drugs, don’t be a slave of drugs”.

African News Agency (ANA)

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