a) The Central Drug Authority board members who were interviewed and appointed by the Portfolio Committee on Social Development in November 2020 have submitted two annual reports on time to the Minister of Social development. These reports detail the progress report of the CDA members on the implementation of the National Drug Master Plan (NDMP) 2019-2024 for financial years 2020/2021 and 2021/2022.
b) The Central Drug Authority board members who were interviewed and appointed by the Portfolio Committee on Social Development in November 2020 have implemented the 7 goals of the NDMP aimed towards a South Africa free from substance abuse and achieved the following:
Goal 1: Demand reduction through prevention and treatment of drug use, misuse and abuse.
1.1 This goal is implemented by government departments and entities, led by the departments of Social development, Basic Education, Sports Arts and Culture, Correctional services and Health. The CDA was able to increase the number of annual reports from 8 national departments and entities in 2020/2021 to 16 in 2021/22 and all the reports from the 9 Provincial Substance Abuse Fora (PSAFs) were received. There is an improvement on accountability on the implementation of this goal. Details of the work of government and other stakeholders to implement this goal is well captured in the annual report.
1.2 To monitor programmes on treatment of substance use, misuse and abuse, the CDA undertook oversight visits to in-patient treatment centres managed and funded by Government in all 9 provinces. The CDA also undertook a benchmarking visit to out-patient treatment centres that offer Opioid Substitution Therapy (OST) in Cape Town in order to measure their effectiveness in communities and in particular with users. The CDA is now addressing the findings of these visits with relevant government departments and other stakeholders.
Goal 2: Supply reduction through multi-sectoral cooperation.
2.1 The implementation of this goal is led by the departments of South African Police and Justice and Constitutional development and the achievements of these and other departments and entities are well captured in the annual report.
2.2 In order to oversee the implementation of this goal and to foster collaboration, The CDA participated at the Gender-based Violence and Substance Abuse Dialogue held on 19 February 2022 and; the Substance Abuse Seminar held on 11 March 2022, which was jointly convened by the Departments of Justice and Constitutional Development, Basic Education and Social Development. This approach promotes multi-sectoralism in addressing the problem of substance abuse and illicit trafficking.
Goal 3: Ensuring availability of and access to controlled substances exclusively for medical and scientific purposes, while preventing their diversion.
3.1 The implementation of this goal is led by the department of Health and SAHPRA and their achievements are well captured in the annual report.
3.2 In order to monitor the implementation of this goal and to gather evidence-based approaches from the other countries, the CDA participated in the 65th Commission on Narcotics and Drugs on 14th-18th March 2022, which was organised by the United Nations Office Against Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Lessons learned are being shared with implementers of the NDMP.
3.3 The Deputy Minister of Social Development introduced the CDA to the EGYPT-SA Hepatitis project task team, with a view to discussing a partnership with the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population and the Egypt Mission of SA for the screening and treatment of Hepatitis C, especially among PWUD (people who use and inject drugs). The CDA participates fully in this project to find evidence-based approaches to reduce transmission of Hepatitis infection especially amongst people who inject drugs.
Goal 4: Identify trends and control of new psychoactive substances.
4.1 The implementation of this goal is led by the department of South African Police and International Relations. Their achievements on this work are well captured in the annual report.
4.2 To gather world-wide evidence-based strategies to control New Psychoactive Substances, The CDA’s attendance of the 65th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs mentioned above, also discussed the trends and control of NPS and amphetamine-type stimulants in the world, as well as the need to address the diversion of precursors and the non-medical use and misuse of pharmaceuticals containing narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. These evidence-based programmes will enrich the work of relevant government departments, entities and the private sector to control New Psychoactive Substances.
4.3 The CDA has decided to undertake research into the trends and prevalence of NPS, based on the submission developed by the Research, Data Collection, Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (RDMEC). The implementation of this project is dependent on availability of adequate resources.
Goal 5: Promote governance, leadership, and accountability for a coordinated multi-sectoral effective response, including economic development at community levels.
5.1 The Minister appointed the Chairperson of the CDA and the CDA appointed the Deputy Chairperson in line with the Act. The CDA also established governance structures to carry out its mandate and to coordinate the implementation of the NDMP. These include:
5.1.1 Five CDA Committees namely:
- Governance Committee
- Research, Development, Monitoring and Evaluation
- Programmes and Projects
- Communications and Marketing and
- Finance, Social and Ethics
All these committees have Chairpersons and Deputy Chairpersons. They are all functional and they meet once a month.
5.1.2 The CDA Executive Committee comprised of the CDA Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and Chairpersons of Committees. Its functional and it meets once a quarter.
5.1.3 The CDA General Meeting which is comprised of all CDA members is functional and it meets once a quarter.
5.1.4 The Extended General Meeting comprised of all members of the CDA, the Provincial Substance Abuse Fora and other strategic stakeholders from civil society and business is functional and meets twice a year.
5.2 All the above governance structures have CDA approved terms of reference to manage execution of the CDA mandate.
5.3 The CDA reviewed the 2014 CDA Rules and developed a new set of Rules in accordance with the Act. The CDA Rules will now be reviewed and promulgated by the Minister.
5.4 The CDA visited and supported the Provincial Substance Abuse Forums and in fact helped to capacitate all provinces on the NDMP. The CDA also started to encourage the launch of the Local Drug Action Committees across the 9 provinces and is capacitating these whenever there’s a request.
5.5 The CDA has engaged the stakeholders with a view to forging partnerships in the interest of service integration and coordination. The stakeholders engaged includes: the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, UN Office on Drugs and Crime, World Health Organisation, African Union, The Colombo Plan, Formal Anti-Drug Committee, International Technology Transfer Centre (ITTC), International Consortium of Universities for Drug Demand Reduction, International Society of Substance Use Professional South Africa, Medical Research Council, South African Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (SACENDU), South African Network of People Who Use Drugs, South African Local Government Association (SALGA), The South African National Aids Council (SANAC), and International Network on Hepatitis in Substance Users.
5.6 To monitor the performance of role-players and stakeholders, the CDA has regularly demanded submission of reports through the DG’s, Provincial HOD’s and Heads of other stakeholder organizations. The CDA has studied and analysed the reports of government departments and its entities, national and international partners and given departments the opportunity to present their draft before the Annual Report is compiled and submitted to the Minister of Social Development.
5.7 As such there has been great improvement and increase in numbers of departmental representatives in the CDA and an increased number of reports received from member departments and the PSAFs. In addition, CDA ‘s engagement with other strategic partners who are not necessarily members of the CDA has led to submission of their reports to the CDA, enhancing sharing of information and best practices.
5.8 For the first time, the CDA has developed a website and social media pages including the face book and twitter, using member’s own personal resources. This has opened up communication channels and access to the CDA information by members of civil society and the CDA members are able to assist those who connect with the CDA through these channels.
Goal 6: Strengthening data collection, monitoring, evaluation and research evidence for an evidence-based response.
6.1 The implementation of this goal is led by the CDA and the departments of social development and performance monitoring and evaluation. The CDA has received reports from the department of health and social development on the research work done by the South African Medical Research Council on data collection, analysis and on trends of substance use and abuse through SACENDU.
6.2 The CDA is monitoring the implementation of the NDMP by all role-players and stakeholders through its governance structures.
6.3 The CDA has a clearing house with information and documents but it needs to be re-organised.
Goal 7: Stimulate robust and sustainable economic growth aimed at reducing poverty, unemployment and inequalities.
7.1 The implementation of this goal is supposed to the led by the department of economic development (who has not yet appointed a representative to sit in the CDA) as well as the departments of performance monitoring and evaluation and trade and industry. Some achievements of these departments and PSAFs are captured in the annual report, although very scanty.
In conclusion the CDA recorded significant achievements in coordinating the implementation of the NDMP 2019-24 in the past two years and these are reflected in the two annual reports, 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 that have been submitted on time to the Minister of Social development and tabled in parliament. The CDA is experiencing many challenges but has continued to focus on executing its mandate, in the interest of working towards a South Africa free from substance abuse.