Chatsworth is a predominantly Indian township near Durban, South Africa which has been devastated in recent years by Sugars, a highly addictive mix of heroine, cocaine and sometimes rat poison to help it pass into the bloodstream.
The families of the addicted feel that their children are vulnerable because they have lost their Asian values. Having been created in the 1960s under apartheid to accommodate at least 25,000 people of Indian origin, Chatsworth was a buffer between a black township and the white fringes of Durban. In tough economic times the older generation appear to miss aspects of their earlier enforced racial separation: in the last decade most of the privileges that the Indian working class had acquired have been dismantled, and the population of Chatsworth is now around 20 – 30% African.
Chervon Chetty, who is from a South African family of Indian origin with roots in Durban, visits Chatsworth to see the impact of the drug on its youth, their families and community, and learn about a detox process that is finally giving long-term addicts a Chance for Change.
“Chatsworth – A Chance for Change” was presented and produced for SAfm radio in Johannesburg by Chervon Chetty. The co-producer was Kate Howells. Photos courtesy of Chervon Chetty and Kate Howells.