Purpose of the Programme
The program is aimed at reducing substance abuse in the province through the following:
•    Substance abuse prevention services,
•    Treatment and aftercare services to persons with substance abuse problems (including facilitation of admission of persons to in-patient treatment centre) and those affected by substance abuse,
•    Capacity building through training and funding of service providers in and outside the Department to render quality prevention and treatment services and
•    Networking with other sectors to render integrated services

Policy Mandates:

The National Drug Master Plan
The National Drug Master Plan sets out the National Policies and priorities in the campaign against substance abuse. One of the pillars of the National Drug Master Plan is demand reduction and harm reduction which speaks to prevention and treatment of substance abuse. The National drug Master Plan also makes provision for structures that promote the integration of services.

Policy on the management of substance abuse

The policy makes provision for prevention, early intervention and treatment of substance abuse services.


Situation Analysis
Performance Environment
The strategic plan is developed in a challenging environment that it plagued by high incidence of substance abuse, the absence of a public in-patient treatment centre in the province and the unique dynamics and demands of substance abuse as a social pathology.


A study conducted by the Department of Social Services and Population Development found that 30% of the population of the province are in need of treatment services for substance abuse.  These findings are supported by findings on studies that indicate that De Aar followed by Upington have the highest reported incidence of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in South Africa and the USA. Research conducted on the incidence of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome reported that 122 /1000 children in De Aar and 73.8/1000 children in Upington had FAS, compared to 8/1000 in the USA and 54/1000 in the Western Cape.


The increase in the number of drug related crimes and driving under the influence crimes further indicate the need for the development of this strategy.
The Prevention and Treatment for Drug Dependency Act 20/1992 will be replaced by the Prevention of and Treatment for Substance Abuse Act 70 of 2008. This Act contains the legal obligation of National ministers and provincial MEC for Social Developments to provide prevention services, treatment services, registration of services and facilities and the establishment and support of Provincial Substance Abuse Forums and Local Drug Action Committees.


The implementation of the strategy is done according to the key performance areas of prevention, treatment, and training of service providers. The performance indicators used in the annual performance plan are generic (used nationally) excluding the one for indicating the number of service providers trained.


The development of targets in the annual performance plan is based on historic figures. The indicator measuring the number of persons reached through prevention programs is calculated at a rate of 30% of the population of the province. The use of mass media and targeted activities will enable the Department to reach the set target. Listener and reader profiles of different media will be utilized as supporting document of actual achievements. This strategy will also see the increased involvement and ownership of communities to address the substance abuse problems.
The setting and achievement of targets for treatment services is affected by the dynamics of substance abuse as pathology.  Research might indicate high numbers of persons in need of one or the other intervention for substance abuse problems, therapeutic intervention however requires of the individual to accept that he/she has a problem and seek or accept the interventions offered and tailored to address their individual needs.  Families may seek assistance when in crisis but may at the same time enable the substance abuse situation as they are already “coping” within this situation, though it might be to their detriment. Treatment services will thus not only entail direct services to the person with the substance abuse problem, but will also include services to family members or significant others.


Organizational Environment
Over the past number of years the organizational environment has changed tremendously. The establishment of substance abuse units in districts and sub-districts staffed by a Principal Social Worker and Social Auxiliary Workers. These units are dedicated to rendering primarily prevention services and are supported by generic Social Workers in the rendering of treatment services. The Department also has a decentralized budget for substance abuse services in every district and sub-district. The dynamics and specialist treatment of substance abuse places its own demands on generic Social Workers that are overburdened with foster care case loads. The Department is funding SANCA Kimberley and SANCA Upington to render both prevention and treatment services. These NPO have three Social Workers rendering treatment services in Siyanda and Francis Baard district. The retention of Social Workers in the NPO sector remains a contentious matter, because of the imparity in between Government and NPO salaries and conditions of service.  This situation results in high turnover in NPO staff and post being vacant for periods at a time.  This situation has in the past resulted in the closure of an NPO.


The NPO are also funded for the posts of 5 District development workers and programs.

Analyses of constraints and measures planned to overcome them
•    Human resources
The Department is experiencing a shortage of Social Auxiliary Workers in the Pixley Ka Seme District. Currently there are a number of Social Auxiliary Workers being trained in the district that may fill the vacancies that are currently existing.
•    Public in-patient treatment centre
The absence of a public in- patient treatment centre in the province, as a result of budget constraints,  results in person being referred to treatment centres outside the province. Currently the Department pays for persons to be admitted to treatment centres outside the province.

Description of Planned quality improvement measures
•    Closer monitoring of inputs into community based treatment services
•    Development of evidence  prevention programs
•    Training for prevention and treatment of substance abuse  service providers


Resource Consideration
•    Human resources to render specialist treatment services.
•    Unavailability of funds to build a treatment centre.
•    Strain on existing budget to refer people to treatment centres.
•    Appropriate motor vehicles for JT Gaetsewe district to render efficient and effect services in outlaying areas.


Strategic Goal

  • Prevention and treatment of substance abuse


  • All people in South Africa are and feel safe
  • Sustainable human settlements and improved quality of household life

Strategic Objective

  • To provide effective and efficient prevention, treatment and aftercare services.

Objective Statement

  • To provide prevention and treatment services to 90 460 per annum   X 3 years persons at risk of abusing substances or abusing substances.


  • 3100 persons treated for substance abuse
  • 480 awareness/prevention activities implemented


A study conducted by the Department of Social Services and Population Development found that 30% of the population in the province were in need of treatment services for substance abuse. More recent studies in the Siyanda district 23% of the respondents indicated that they have an alcohol problem, whilst 14% indicated that they abuse illegal drugs. 6% of the illegal drug users were scholars. 33% of the respondents indicated that they started drinking alcohol at an age younger than 16 years. A study into suicide in the province indicated that 14% of the respondents were depresses caused by the alcohol use in the households where they live. Research conducted on the incidence of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome reported that 122 /1000 children in De Aar and 73.8/1000 children in Upington had FAS, compared to 8/1000 in the USA and 54/1000 in the Western Cape.
SAPS crime statistics for the Northern Cape Province we experience an increase in substance abuse crimes and a decrease in the identified substance abuse related crimes:

Type of crime




Common assault




Neglect and ill treatment of children




Drug related crimes




Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs





The achievement of this strategic goal would contribute to the achievement of the Northern Cape Provincial Growth and Development Strategy, the Government Program of action and the MTSF