Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille

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In a newly-released, one-minute song, featuring DJ Ready D and Khanyi, De Lille raps: "Don't smart, be smart. Drug free is the way to be".

DJ Ready D refers to zero tolerance of drugs in the city and raps that treatment centres are available to the public.

He hands the song over to the mayor saying: "Come roll with the mother of the city. Let's roll with the Mayor Aunty Patty".

"Aunty Patty" then belts out the number of a toll-free helpline, 0800 HELP 4 U (0800-435-748), available to those affected by alcohol and drugs.

It is a novel approach to a serious problem, with statistics estimating that Cape Town has in excess of 15,000 heroin users.

Tik (methamphetamine) is the main drug of choice for just less than half the city's drug users.

In February, Western Cape community safety MEC Dan Plato told the Cape Argus that Cape Town was South Africa's drug capital.

"We are far, far ahead of other cities in terms of drug crime stats. We're making a grave mistake by underestimating the drug problem in this city, because it's bigger than anyone thinks," he was quoted as saying.

De Lille launched her "Don't Start, Be Smart" anti-drug campaign in Bellville on Tuesday, which was also the United Nation's international day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking.

She said she wanted young drug addicts to know that treatment was available at centres in Tafelsig, Mitchells Plain, Table View, Delft South, and Khayelitsha.

She issued a stern warning to drug dealers.

"We are telling these merchants of destruction that their time is up," she said in a speech prepared for delivery.

People were asked to do their part and not tolerate drug dealers.

"Tolerating the presence of people involved in these nefarious activities is akin to setting your children off on a road of substance abuse."

The mayor said she was working closely with the Western Cape provincial police commissioner Arno Lamoer and local government to reduce drug-related crimes.