Young South Africans battling with drug addiction in Durban have called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to strengthen efforts to stop the infiltration of drugs into the country. The call was made ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address.

Townships, rural and urban areas are battling the scourge of drugs, especially among the youth.

Drug abuse is ranked high along with AIDS and TB, as major social ills and it’s destroying the future of the country – the youth. The implications of drug abuse are layered and complicated.

While some end up in prison, others end up on the streets and homeless. Twenty four year-old Lindela Dlamini from Inchanga, west of Durban, is one of those battling drug addiction, which has endangered the lives of his family members.

He is pleading for intervention from the highest office in the land.

“We are asking for our president to arrange for us, as drug addicts, some sorts of a place where these drugs would be drained out of our bodies and immediately after, give some sort of jobs. We don’t like this life. We might even get killed. We are very young to be killed.”

Some of the youth in Durban say they want to stop doing drugs, but well-known and persistent drug suppliers make it difficult for them to quit.

Drug addict Lindokuhle Ndlovu says the government must organise untis to close down drug peddlers.

“Let government organise some units whose job will be to close down drug peddlers in our communities. We are hooked on drugs. We are calling on President Ramaphosa’s intervention in this.”

Homeless youth living in the streets of Durban are appealing to the president to give them a second chance.

Young people affected by drugs still believe they have a role to play in the future of the country. They’re now hanging on hope for another chance to play that role.