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Minister: Lindiwe Zulu
Deputy Minister: Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu
Deputy Minister
iconDSD Customer Care Charter iconStudy Report on Children's access to Social Insurance Benefits
THE DEPARMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT ADDRESSES CHALLENGES FACED BY STUDENTS IN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS Print E-mail
Monday, 04 February 2019

In 2016, the Department of Social Development conducted dialogues in Eastern Cape-based tertiary institutions to address challenges faced by students particularly those affecting female students, students with disabilities, students exiting the social security grant system as well as students who form part of the LGBTI community.

Among some of the findings from the dialogues was the high rate of substance abuse in the institutions. Students at the Walter Sisulu University of Technology, for example, made reference to the easy access to alcohol and related substances from a local tavern.
The students, seeking assistance in this regard, asked the Department to rollout anti-substance abuse programmes in the universities, including identifying students with substance abuse problems and placing them on relevant rehabilitation programmes.

They also asked that the Department assigns social workers on campuses in order to attend to the needs of students in need of counselling.
According to the students, the lack of extra-curricular activities contributed to their abuse of substances and they appealed to the Department of Social Development to introduce extra-mural activities programmes.
The mandate of the Department of Social Development is to provide comprehensive, integrated, sustainable and quality services in building a caring society. The Department, as the lead in the field of substance abuse, is also mandated by the Prevention of and Treatment for Substance Abuse Act, Act no 70 of 2008 to provide for the establishment of programmes and intervention in response to the scourge.

As a response to the plea of the students and as part of the Anti-Substance Abuse Campaign, which was launched in December 2018, the Department of Social Development has undertaken to dedicate more efforts towards the implementation of anti-substance abuse prevention through awareness campaigns and education as the first levels of intervention.

The purpose of the Anti-Substance Abuse Campaign, held under the theme: “Building a Community that is Free of Alcohol and Drug Abuse” is to enlighten and inform communities about the harmful effects of substance abuse.
The campaign also seeks to:
 Sensitise the public, particularly young people about the harmful effects of alcohol and drug abuse
 Ensure that different stakeholders participate in the fight against alcohol and drug abuse
 Provide information to  community on available resources and support system regarding substance abuse; and
 Mobilise student and general communities to take action in combating alcohol and drug abuse
According to statistics from the South African Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (SACENDU), 10 047 people were admitted to anti-substance abuse treatment centres in 2017.

Substance abuse is also reported to contribute to close to 60% of crimes committed and 80% of male youth deaths.

The Department of Social Development is hosting exhibitions in tertiary institutions throughout the country in line with the Anti-Substance Abuse Campaign.

At the exhibitions, departmental information about how substance abuse contributes to the scourge of gender-based violence and HIV infections will be shared with learners. The Department’s Victim Empowerment Programme will also be sharing vital information about the assistance the Department of Social Development has for those in need of counselling.

Activations for the Anti-Substance Abuse Campaign will continue throughout the country until 25 February 2019.

The tertiary exhibitions in the Western Cape will take place as follows:

Date:   Tuesday, 29 January, 2019
Time:   From 9am – 1pm  
Venue: Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Wellington Campus

Date:   Wednesday, 30 January, 2019
Time:   From 9am – 1pm
Venue: Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town Campus

Date:   Thursday, 31 January, 2019
Time:   From 9am – 1pm   
Venue: Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Bellville Campus

Media can RSVP by contacting Ms Nomfundo Xulu-Lentsoane on 066 480 6845 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it       

ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

Media inquiries may be forwarded to Ms Lumka Oliphant on 083 484 8067 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it