Students who engaged in a debate posing for a photo after their debate 

On Thursday, 18 July 2019, the University of Venda (Univen) students engaged in one of the problems that affect most students. The topic of the debate was ‘Alcohol and substance abuse’. This big debate took place at Univen Sports Hall. 

SRC President, Tsundzuka Hakamela

SRC President, Tsundzuka Hakamela told the audience that he believes that even if Nelson Mandela was here, he was going to be happy for what we are doing because this affects the youth of this country. Mr Hakamela continued to tell students to take good care of their health and good care of their friends and families. He said education is the weapon to eradicate poverty. 

“Let us reduce intake of alcohol and focus on achieving our goals of getting our qualifications that we came here for. Say no to drugs and alcohol abuse. Before you take alcohol be sure about the level at which you consume that alcohol, do not drink to an extent in which you do not even see what is happening around you.” He advised those who drink to do so responsibly. 

Mr Lutando Charlie

Mr Lutando Charlie welcomed the audience. He said this programme always comes during relevant times. He continued to highlight that alcohol and substance abuse is a social ill that is costly not only to the individuals but also to the economy of the country. “Excessive drug abuse has a lot of consequences. While there is time do not reach a level of being an addict. Let us be forewarned and make good use of this programmes as guidelines to our lives.” 

Mr Lumka Kupiso

Mr Lumka Kupiso from the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport said young people should frequently speak about this kind of topics and should also talk with their parents about topics like this too. He said he hoped this is the start of everything and he believes that students will take this topic to their homes and talk to their siblings about issues such as substance abuse. Mr Kupiso encouraged students to seek help when they are victims of alcohol and substance abuse. He further encouraged them to start thinking about their future. “Everything you do today, should be about building your tomorrow. Your actions of today will determine your future.” 

“Challenge yourself in making things cooler in the next 5 years. It takes a community to raise a child, speak up and seek help if you need help. If one person falls a victim, advice that person to seek help because that person might be harmful to your community. Do not distance yourself from those who seek help. Build relationships and friendships that allow people to share information with you.” 

Students debated on the banning of alcohol at institutions of higher learning. Some of the arguments that students highlighted were that a student bar should be closed on campus and those who need alcohol should go to buy alcohol off campus while others argued that if students are to go off campus to buy alcohol at night for instance, they will be attacked by criminals. 

Mr Tlou Tefu

Mr Tlou Tefu from SANCA said alcohol and drugs change the mental conditions of a human being. He advised students and staff who have not yet started not to even think of starting because alcohol and substance usage are addictive and once a person is addicted, it is not easy to quit. Mr Tefu also advised Univen students to refer their friends and family members who are addicts to SANCA for help. 

Ms Tshifhiwa Eneritha Tshigovha

Ms Tshifhiwa Eneritha Tshigovha, a Professional Nurse from Tshilidzini Hospital said “before you decide to drink alcohol or to use drugs, always remember the consequences of alcohol and drug abuse. The use of alcohol has much negative impact especially on students. She told students to use this debate as a wakeup call for those who have not yet started using these things. “Those who are already addicted should start making use of counseling and psychological offices available on campus to seek help.” 

Mr Edward Dongola

Mr Edward Dongola from Campus Health proposed a vote of thanks. In his vote of thanks, Mr Dongola thanked students for their participation in the debate. He also told students to make use of available, relevant offices for help. He further advised them to use information that they have learned from this debate. “Everything is in your hands. You will decide on what you want in life. He concluded by thanking the partnering organisations. 

Campus Health Clinic partnered with Tshilidzini Hospital, Department of Health and SANCA in making sure that they deliver this programme to students. 

Issued by: 

Department of Communications & Marketing 

University of Venda 

Tel: (015) 962 8525 

Date: 26 July 2019