Clock is tikking for users in Cape Town
The UN has given Cape Town the thumbs-up for its proposal for inflicting a body blow to the tik scourge in Western Cape.
The city's safety and security directorate has drafted regulations that will make it tough for drug manufacturers to get hold of the ingredients they need.
The directorate's Anton Visser is confident that all the bases have been covered and he is ready to meet Western Cape Premier Helen Zille today to discuss the directorate's plan.
"At the moment we are concentrating on arresting people for dealing in drugs or possession of drugs. But the back door is wide open. Anyone can get the chemicals," said Visser.
The diversion of chemicals from legitimate use in industry to the manufacturing of illegal drugs "is a significant contributor to the drug problem experienced in the city", according to the safety and security directorate.
Chemicals such as ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and phenylpropanolamine - which are used in cough-and-cold medications but are also ingredients of the illicit drug methamphetamine, or tik - are easily available.
The regulations, said Visser, are aimed at manufacturers, importers and exporters.
Anyone manufacturing, preparing, transforming, storing, importing, exporting, marketing or researching certain chemicals - including those used to make tik -
will have to register.
Chemists will have to participate in a "methamphetamine monitoring programme" which will require "electronic recording of transactions involving the sale and distribution of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and phenylpropanolamine products by pharmacists".
Before taking delivery of these chemicals, a buyer will have to produce an identity document, residential or business address and a signature, along with a witness.
Visser said the US Drug Enforcement Administration helped the directorate to draft the proposal.
"In a report-back from the UN office on drugs and crime we were told that they are very pleased so far."