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Private drug rehab for city

WANTED: Kimberley could have a private drug rehabilitation clinic following an application to purchase land in Patrick Mothelese Street in Galeshewe. Picture: Soraya Crowie

KIMBERLEY could have a private drug rehabilitation clinic following an application to purchase land from the Sol Plaatje Municipality in Galeshewe.

The land is situated at 1 Patrick Mothelesi Street and consists of three properties, which are currently vacant. Access is from Patrick Mothelesi Street as well as Nobengula Street and the property is two hectares.

The applicant, Bishop Mohau Shuping, stated in his application that he intended to purchase the land to develop a drug rehabilitation centre, while another applicant, Shelter Fabrication and Construction, has applied for a portion of the property for a residential development.

A total of seven applications were received by the Sol Plaatje Municipality for the property, including for the development of a bakery, student accommodation, shopping centre, brick manufacture, a cash store, gardening purposes by a stokvel, a private primary health care clinic and a scrap metal dealer.

It was, however, noted that similar facilities to these are available in Galeshewe while there is no other drug rehabilitation centre in the area.

According to a report, submitted to the Sol Plaatje City Council’s Spelum Committee, there is a social need for a drug rehabilitation centre in Galeshewe which will assist in terms of the rehabilitation of drug and alcohol addicts.

“Numerous research studies have indicated that the prevalence of substance abuse in South Africa has reached significant proportions within the youth and adult population,” the report states.

The report further stated that the drug rehabilitation centre would be in line with government’s objective of reducing substance abuse.

“Moreover such uses play a significant role in terms of providing integrated land uses within the community as anyone who needs it in Galeshewe or the vicinity will easily get access to rehab close to home. The Department of Social Development has greatly welcomed the initiative and it must be noted that the National Lotteries Commission is funding the initiative.”

It was stated further that initiatives of this nature would complement the surrounding land uses and also lead to increased rates and taxes of the municipality.

“The drug rehabilitation centre will seek to address the principle of spatial transformation whereby in the past developments of this nature were not co-existing in the townships and the community did not have the privilege of such amenities.”

The ground has a market value of around
R773 000.

It has been recommended that the council’s Spelum Committee approve the rezoning of the ground from Business 1 and Parking to Institutional and alienate it at the market value, or alternatively alienate it by means of a tender, with the upset price set at the market value.

It is also recommended that the proposal be advertised and if any objections are received, a further report be submitted to the Spelum Committee.

The application to purchase the land comes in the wake of the still unfinished R61 million Northern Cape Substance Abuse Treatment facility, being built for the Department of Social Development in Kimberley.

According to the Department of Public Works, which is overseeing the construction, the facility is currently only 55 percent complete.

The centre can accommodate 40 in-patients and will be equipped with a gymnasium.

The centre has been dogged with problems and concern was raised two years ago already that it could prove to be another mental health fiasco in the Province. Work on the rehabilitation centre also came to a halt last year after a legal battle between two contractors, Schauman Builders, who claimed that they should have been awarded the tender ahead of the successful contractor, Kobus Duvenhage Builders

Kobus Duvenhage Builders was restrained in terms of a court order from implementing the tender as well as doing any construction work relating to the tender, effectively halting work for several months.