The illegal drug trade in Southern Africa

"Some three years after the demise of apartheid and South Africa's subsequent reemergence into the world community, the country has increasingly become a target of illegal drug merchants. Attracted by the country's relatively advanced communications, financial and transport infrastructure, the drug syndicates operating internationally, regionally and locally have also exploited the institutional uncertainty which has accompanied South Africa's transition to democracy.In Southern Africa, with its backlog of competing needs, the drug trade problem has not received the political priority which it can claim in other countries. Despite the apparent rise in drug-related crimes, policy-makers have yet to convert political rhetoric into successful action. Drug rehabilitation for criminal offenders is the exception to the norm and in many cases the criminal justice system is not in a position to prosecute effectively the 'kingpins' of drug syndicates. Money laundering imposes inestimable costs which undermine legitimate business practices and the integrity of the region's economies."