child drug use cape flats
Young children are increasingly using hard drugs. Image Credit: SANews

Home » Elsies River: Eight-year-old tests positive for lethal mix of drugs

Elsies River: Eight-year-old tests positive for lethal mix of drugs

Drug use on the Cape Flats are increasing and spreading among young children as hard drugs are becoming cheaper and more available.

child drug use cape flats
Young children are increasingly using hard drugs. Image Credit: SANews

Concerns of drug use on the Cape Flats are rising after an eight-year-old from Elsies River, a suburb of Cape Town, tested positive for a concoction of hard drugs.


The child tested positive for a concoction of hard drugs that consisted of mandrax, tik, heroin, and cocaine. Franchesca Walker, a Leonsdale ward councillor, spotted the case. She stated that community workers who tried to assist the child were left ‘dumbfounded’. This after the boy tested positive for four types of drugs, according to IOL. The Tehillah Centre, a drug addiction treatment centre, performed a drug test on the boy. After the positive test results for hard drugs, they notified social workers immediately.

Sister Magda Kleyn, CEO of the Tehillah Centre, said that they ‘were very very shocked’ at the situation.

“I was working in my ward when the [child’s] granny approached me and said her eight-year-old grandson had gone missing. I searched and searched but could not find him. Later in the day, while working in a different part of Leonsdale, the community workers spotted him and I tried to speak to him when I realised something was wrong.”

Franchesca Walker, Leonsdale ward councillor


Staff members of the Tehillah Centre investigated the matter. They found that teachers at local schools and parents are at a loss with drug use among children in Leonsdale, an area in Elsies River. Cocaine, in particular, is becoming a very big problem.

Presently, children can buy cocaine for as little as R50. They can also buy only one line to sniff for as little as R20. Cocaine is becoming increasingly accessible and cheap.

“All of a sudden cocaine has flooded the Cape Flats drug market and it is becoming a big problem. Cocaine is not a drug you would normally find in our communities as it has historically been a high-priced drug which is mostly used in affluent areas.”

Abie Isaacs, Cape Flats Safety Forum

The question is: what are drug dealers adding to the cocaine to ‘water it down’ so that they can sell it for so cheap?


In May, Metro Police arrested three men in Parow for possession of drugs after stopping them for speeding. The vehicle had tik, dagga, and cocaine hidden in a compartment. Officers discovered a plastic bag containing 42 packets of tik, 29 packets of dagga, and three medium packets of cocaine.

Less than a week later, the SAPS Anti-Economic and Extortion Task Team found cocaine with an estimated street value of over R50 000 at a house in Uitenhage Street in Portlands. Shortly thereafter, the same police unit confiscated a consignment of drugs consisting of cocaine, mandrax, and crystal meth from a dealer in Langa.

The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, commended officers for making progress on addressing the drug trade that is flooding Cape Town neighbourhoods. He added that every drug bust is a step in the right direction. Drug use leads to many other problems such as violence, abuse, and crime.

“Every drug taken off the street is potentially someone saved from an overdose or prevented from taking that first hit and becoming addicted.”

JP Smith