Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Ministers, hon members and guests in the gallery, social crime is not just a South African challenge, but a worldwide challenge. Substance abuse is rife in all our communities. Substance abuse knows no colour, creed, race or gender. It affects all of us. We need to work together to move South Africa forward in combating substance abuse within our neighbourhoods and our communities.
The ANC Youth League, as a huge wing of the ANC, resolved at its 23rd national congress that it would support and be part of a campaign aimed at educating the youth about the dangers of substance abuse. This includes supporting the Department of Social Development's Ke Moja campaign by ensuring that it filters down to all levels of society and reaches a wider audience. In working together with nongovernmental organisations and community-based organisations, the government is working with all these people in our communities.
Any intervention must involve all sectors of the community, as was done in Eldorado Park. The government's intervention to rid the area of the scourge of drug abuse changed the lives of the people of Eldorado Park. President Jacob Zuma set up a steering committee, including the then Gauteng premier, Nomvula Mokonyane, and former Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, to begin intensified law enforcement in Eldorado Park. [Applause.] An integrated special intervention team, which included the Police Tactical Response Team, the flying squad and provincial officers, was dispatched to the area to increase visibility and hunt down drug dealers. During this operation, there were vehicle checkpoints, stop searches and visits to houses identified as those of alleged dealers and to lolly lounges.
This was a very successful operation in which a total of 1 400 drug-related arrests were made in the period following the President's visit. A lot was achieved during this operation. We need more of these types of operations on a sustainable and continued basis as they build communities into drug- free ones.
This operation was undertaken not just in Eldorado Park but also in eight other provinces. This operation was roped in to participate in the implementation of the programme, as part of the experience, the learning and the rationale behind the challenges we faced in Eldorado Park and experience throughout South Africa and elsewhere.
The Ke Moja buses programme has been successfully launched. This programme includes a parenting skills programme, the Bright Star programme, the Addicted for Change programme and the removal of graffiti.
Counselling and the Ke Moja buses will improve accessibility to social work services and interventions intended to benefit the youth of Eldorado Park. Youth facilitators will engage the youth in empowering them with social skills and educating them about the negative effects of drug abuse and alcohol. As a country, we need to continually explore better ways of ensuring access to treatment by building additional centres.
Gender-based violence, especially threats directed at women and children such as sexual and domestic violence, remains a serious regional and global human security concern. A South African study of survivors of gender-based abuse showed that just under a third of women went to the police despite the fact that 89% of these women felt that what was done to them was a crime. The elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and children is a serious concern. Though the country has been commended for its robust legislative framework to address the scourge of violence against women and children, there remains an urgent need for intersectoral interventions to prevent and respond to this scourge of violence.
Violence against children cuts across the boundaries of geography, race, class, religion and culture. It occurs in homes, schools and streets, in places of work and entertainment and in care and detention centres. Perpetrators include parents, family members, teachers, caretakers, law enforcement authorities and other children too. Some children are particularly vulnerable owing to gender, race, ethnic origin, disability or social status. And no country is immune, whether rich or poor.
Children in South Africa live in a society with a Constitution that has the highest regard for their rights and for the equality and dignity of everyone. Protecting children from violence, exploitation and abuse is not only a basic value but also an obligation.
In the state of the nation address, the President declared 2014 as the year of the disabled. We need to improve the public transport system, especially the train system. People with disabilities cannot access trains as easily as they would like to because there are no ramps. In some instances, there are only staircase bridges that don't allow them to cross the railway line. We need to do a countrywide assessment of disabled people to assess their levels of disability. Hon Minister, we cannot have a one-size-fits-all approach, as no two disabled people are the same. We need to create opportunities for disabled people to be independent and not interdependent.
I would like to quote our former President Nelson Mandela when he said:
Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.
The ANC supports this budget. Thank you. [Applause.]