The mothers of children who’ve succumbed to the scourge of drug abuse say their sons and daughters have been abandoned by the system.
The parents were speaking at the National Anti-Drugs march at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, where thousands gathered in support of a drug-free South Africa.
Mothers in the community of Mabopane say more than 14 young people have been buried this month, after falling victim to drug abuse.
The moms, many of whom have lost their sons and daughter due to drug addiction, have called for an end to the stigma shrouding drug abuse.
Caroline Mathibe, whose 35-year-old son is a recovering nyoape addict, says he’s been struggling to access adequate healthcare.
She’s bemoaned the country’s failing healthcare system for not taking her child’s suffering more seriously.
Social worker, Itumeleng Madikela, has also added her voice to calls for an end to drug abuse.
She says young drug addicts are being failed by the system.
The Rustenburg local says she joined today’s protest action after witnessing first hand the crippling effects of substance abuse on her community’s young people.
The passionate community worker says young drug addicts are being forced to pay upwards of R20 000 for rehabilitation, with no government-sponsored options available in her community.
Madikela says the business of rehabilitation facilities has taken precedence over the needs of young people.
In a defiant display members of the taxi industry, alongside The Africa Bikers’ Council, came out in full support of today’s anti-drug march.
The men say despite the criminal stereotypes, which often shroud their professions, drug dependency and criminality cannot be tolerated.
Demonstrators have given the government 14 days to respond to their demands for more urgent intervention in the drug abuse crisis that’s besieged South Africa, shattering young people’s dreams and breaking up families. Article by Naomi Kobbie
Written by: Lindiwe Mabena