‘Nyaope hampering youth development in Soweto’

Addicts say there has been progress since the Soweto uprising but limited access to resources is a problem.

School children marched through the streets of Soweto ahead of 16 June Youth Day celebration to highlight the importance of education. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - As South Africans prepare to celebrate Youth Day, some nyaope users in Soweto on Monday said drug addiction is hampering the development of the township's young population.

Thousands of school pupils marched through the streets of the township in commemoration of the 1976 Soweto uprising.

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However, young addicts said while there had been progress since then limited access to resources remained the biggest problem.

Nyaope addict Mzi Tsholingana said the lack of recreational facilities meant many young people in Soweto were turning to the drug and other substances to pass the time.

"The community centre is there but we are not allowed in."

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At 30-years-old he has been using the concocted drug since he was in high school and says his environment makes it difficult to quit.

"It doesn't allow me to quit; my neighbour is a smoker, my close friend is a smoker."

Former student leaders involved in the 1976 uprisings have at the same time urged young people to prioritise education as a means to better their futures.

#YouthMarch The march is being led by Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi joined by pupils from across the province. pic.twitter.com/0IiyJ2uGRZ