According to 2013/14 research conducted by the Eastern Cape Gambling Board most people who are involved in gambling are government employees.
This was indicated in a Youth Month celebration event in the town hall in Komani recently.
The EC gambling board in conjunction with the department of education, social development and the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality hosted a youth month debate that was aiming at empowering young people with social skills and to impart the knowledge they need to succeed at institutions of higher learning.
Mihlalikazi Khumalo of the Eastern Cape Gambling Board said, “Our main responsibility is to create awareness about responsible gambling and irresponsible gambling. We have noticed that the unintended consequences of gambling are addicted to gambling which could lead to suicidal thoughts. In 2013/14 we found that government employees are more involved in gambling because they have a disposable income on a monthly basis. Those employees are parents in their households which automatically affects pupils negatively. We have organised this event to address some social ills that could result from gambling such as substance abuse.”
The South African Responsible Gambling Foundation was mentioned as one of the organisations that could be of assistance to those who need help free of charge.
Various schools from the Chris Hani district participated in critical conversations, including topics like ‘Profiling of the abuse of liquor, drugs and gambling by young persons.’
Department of Education Chris Hani West representative Xolela Mbebe said “We are working with various stakeholders to achieve our common goal which is to assist teens.”
Among the motivational speakers was Somilangaye Mpalala, from Port Elizabeth Ernest Malgas Treatment centre, who shared his experience of being involved in substance abuse and illegal gambling. “I started joining thug groups from Primary School, but I realised that it was not good for me and that is when I asked my parents for assistance to quit. I have been drug free for a couple of years and life is great. Most of my friends died because of substance abuse” Picture: PILANATHI RASMENI