Zoleka Mandela: Drugs and alcohol taking 'serious toll on SA communities'

02 July 2019 - 14:12
By Kyle Zeeman
Zoleka Mandela has spoken out about drug addiction.
Image: Instagram/Zoleka Mandela Zoleka Mandela has spoken out about drug addiction.

As drug and alcohol abuse continue to dominate conversations across Mzansi, Zoleka Mandela has weighed in on the scourge and the toll it is taking on SA communities.

Zoleka, who has always been open about her own battles with substance abuse, recently visited Kopanang Senior Secondary School in Witbank to warn about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.

Reflecting on the visit, Zoleka said that the "remarkable demand for drugs" and widespread availability made it a serious social problem.

"Drug and alcohol abuse is taking a serious toll on communities in SA, especially with a remarkable demand for drugs, the ease in which they enter into our region and are being utilised and sold," she added on Instagram.

She said she saw a lot of herself in the children she spoke to at the school.

"Many of the children are teen mothers like I was and whose lives were also never sheltered from sexual or physical abuse and addiction. This year, as I celebrate my 9th year of sobriety (being free from alcohol and illegal drugs), I hope that my personal journey with sex, alcohol and drug addiction reminds our children that they too, deserve a second chance."

She said she hoped that through the Zoleka Mandela Foundation she could help those facing addiction to have access to rehabilitation facilities that are "free from huge financial implications, ill treatment and poor conditions".

"The reality is that recovery is a lifelong process and not everyone is afforded the exact family and financial support I have received over the years in order to remain clean and sober for all these years."