Ellen Pakkies

In the photo from left to right, Monika Vermeulen (FHK CPF), Lauren Smith (Todwil Foundation), Ellen Pakkies, Zamikhaya Ncamazana (Deputy Dir. Head – Drakenstein Youth Correctional Centre) and Minnie Pieterson (YEA).

Over the years it has become apparent that our beautiful community has become a haven for drug dealers and those who prey on our children and the impoverished. Alcohol and drug abuse have reached pandemic proportions in areas such as Bosbou and La Motte where it is estimated that there is at least one drug addict for every four houses.

The police have also reported that over 80% of all petty crimes and theft is drug related and that the drug dealers are using children to sell the drugs on the street as young children cannot be prosecuted within our legal system. In the same breath almost all assaults are linked to alcohol abuse.

Medicare EMR also recently participated at a drug awareness campaign hosted my Minnie Pieterse in Bosbou where the main speaker was Ellen Pakkies, a mother that strangled her own son out of frustration when society failed to help her with her Tik addicted son.  At the event it was apparent that the community is desperate for help as they simply cannot cope with the rampant drug influx and the effects that it has on their families. The community also complain that the drug dealers receive tip offs from the local police who seem to do very little to protect them from these drug pushers. A support group for the families was started by Minie Pieterse to try and help the struggling community.

The fact of the matter is drug and alcohol abuse threatens the very heart of Franschhoek by risking its position as a tourist haven as well as the safety and security of everyone in the village. We can no longer turn a blind eye to what is happening in the poorer communities as we need to do something before it is too late.