Friday, February 18, 2011

~ SA Street Scenes ~

"It is a beggar’s pride that he is not a thief” ~ Japanese Proverb

“Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime” ~ Unknown

We see these signs all the time here in Joburg. However, no matter how bad their circumstances South Africans are known for their humor. The jobless, found on street corners throughout the city, bring tears, frustration and occasionally smiles to drivers in the hope of small monetary exchange, food or work.

I need to give them credit for still being funny! I am not sure that I would still have a sense of humor if I would be in such dire circumstances... Maybe they get more money this way?? And by the way; there are indeed also white beggars here in SA. (By the way: I am not sure that any rich lady is interested in such a long beard :-)

I've read recently in a local newspaper that there are small babies for rent from a Pretoria orphanage for as little as R20=$2 a day to bring more pity upon the women on the side of the street or at the robots, in the hope that their daily 'income' gets a bit higher than when just standing there by themselves. I often wonder about these young and healthy looking women, with 'their' babies on their backs... Why are you not working?? Instead of standing there in the hot blazing sun all day on your bare feet?? I know the unemployment rate is high and even higher in Zimbabwe (as high as 95%!! at the moment) where most of these women are from. But still...

It breaks my heart to see the women, men and children standing on the side of the street, no matter if they rented the baby or not, their situation is still sad, heartbreaking... but what can we do about it, is more my question? I wish I could solve these problems for these people. Because I know for sure that NOBODY goes willingly standing and beg all day on the streets. It is definitely not a DREAM JOB for anybody!! No matter where you come from!

Here some shocking numbers!
According to the Geneva-based nongovernmental organisation, the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions, 7.5 million South Africans lack access to adequate housing and secure tenure in South Africa. At least one-third of the population lives in poverty and while the official unemployment rate is given as around 20 percent, unofficial estimates put the number closer to 40 percent.

Life is not fair, and can be so hard and cruel! It makes such a difference where your cradle was standing when you were born.

Be grateful, thankful and blessed for the situation your are in, don't judge but give instead!


Emm said...

I'll have to find a link or proof for you M, but it is not legal to sit with a child on the side of the road. The law was always that school-age children had to be in school but I think they recently changed it to include all children.

Mireille said...

I believe you Emm, but still you see it daily on the streets. Just outside my estate I see a few women everyday.

Maci Miller said...

Nice post. And so true. You never know what a person has been through in their life and why they are homeless. It's good to not judge and just share with others. I am with you 100%!

Leah and Maya said...

Well I would think a clever sign might help draw attention to them and give them a chance to get more money. In Guatemala it ws always the poor little kids sitting there with their mothers, just awful.
We are so so lucky!

pegdress said...



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