Cape Town - 121207 - A young man, believed to be a gang-member,wais arrested for possession of Tik and Mandrax after a house search in Manenberg on Friday afternoon. - The South African Police Force embarked on a cluster operation focusing on drugs and gangs in various areas around Cape Town on Friday afternoon. The operation that was conducted in Manenberg and Hanover Park saw a large amount of Dagga, Tik and Mandrax being confiscated and two arrests were made. The operation marked the beginning of similar operations which will be happening during the festive season in Cape Town. - Photo: Matthew Jordaan

Durban - South Africans must fight drug abuse in the same manner it fought apartheid, the MEC for Social Development in KwaZulu-Natal said on Saturday.

“(The battle against drug abuse) a fight that we must fight with the same vigour our forefathers used to dismantle the pillars of apartheid,” MEC Weziwe Thusi said in a speech prepared for delivery in Chatsworth, Durban.

“We must use every weapon available to us.”

Thusi said drug dealers were targeting schools and this meant that the future of the country was under siege.

A rehabilitation centre in Durban was being refurbished, while another would be renovated after the new financial year.

“Our department also operates a similar facility in Newcastle and plans are at an advanced stage for the construction of two new facilities in Ulundi and Pietermaritzburg regions,” she said.

The department was also funding the centres being run by non-profit organisations in the province. The business community was also urged to join hands in fighting drugs.

“I am confident that the united front we are presenting as government, the private sector and the community will make a difference,” she said

“Ours is to now maintain the pressure and ensure that we squeeze (drug dealers) out of their little corners and send them straight to jail,” she said. - Sapa