Rehab centre opened as Joburg wages war on drugs

18 June 2018 - 15:12 By Penwell Dlamini
The Golden Harvest Rehabilitation Centre has expanded.
The Golden Harvest Rehabilitation Centre has expanded.

As the Johannesburg city council tried to deal with the scourge of drugs in the country’s biggest metro‚ it has officially opened the expansion of a vital rehabilitation centre.

On Monday‚ the city opened the expansion of the Golden Harvest Rehabilitation Centre in Northworld‚ which started operating in 2011 as an in-patient centre to cater for 12 teenage boys between the ages of 13 and 17. The boys were addicted to alcohol and various drugs.

But the expansion means that 58 patients can now be helped at the same time – a substantial increase that‚ it is hoped‚ will make a massive difference in the lives of indigent addicts.

The centre is aimed at providing services to indigent individuals who cannot afford the cost of accessing privately-owned rehabilitation centres. Also‚ for the first time – and thanks to the expansion - Golden Harvest will cater for male and female addicts. It is being run in partnership with the South African National Council on Alcoholism (Sanca). Golden Harvest offers a six week in-patient treatment programme‚ which entails medical and psycho-social treatment conducted by professional staff.

According to a 2018 Sanca report‚ between April 2017 and March 2018‚ the centre provided rehabilitation services to 144 teenage boys between the ages of 13 and 17. The majority of admissions were children between 16 and 17 years‚ accounting for 65% of all admissions.

Of the total admissions‚ 24 children were admitted for marijuana‚ 15 for nyaope‚ and 12 were admitted for either methamphetamine‚ a drug called kat‚ or mandrax.

In Johannesburg's city budget for 2018/19‚ R30-million in operational expenditure‚ and R12.5-million in capital expenditure‚ have been allocated to the departments of health and social development to fully capacitate the city’s free community substance abuse treatment centres. Through the allocation‚ another in-patient rehabilitation centre will be established in Poortjie.