On the whole we feel extremely cared for and safe here in Mamelodi: we are cautious and careful and try and avoid risky situations and the community has been taking excellent care of us.
There is however a horrible undercurrent that not only potentially threatens our safety but also that of all our kind, gentle hard working neighbours: a vicious drug called Nyaope. Nyaope is a blend of heroin, marijuana, rat poison, anti retroviral drugs and bleach. It is the hard drug of choice among Mamelodi youth. Young men hanging around on street corners with bloodshot eyes after their latest fix or awaiting the next are unfortunately a common sight. These are the people Leah is afraid of for our sake and for her own sake. When these youths want their next fix they don’t care if a passerby is black, white, rich or poor: anyone is a target for a fix will set them back as little as R30 and most people have a phone on them that can be stolen and sold to cover the amount.
Mamelodi police say 75% of crimes in the area are substance abuse related. A sad state of affairs for honest, hard working residents.