Don’t ‘give a coin’, give a future

2016-11-08 06:00
A beggar on the streets of Hillcrest. Photo: SUPPLIED

A beggar on the streets of Hillcrest. Photo: SUPPLIED

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THE Phuma Okhoneni Garden Project (POGP) Association is appealing to the public not to give money to beggars as this does them no favours, and exacerbates the begging situation.

According to Marge Mitchell of the association, most beggars in the Hillcrest area come to “work” in their smart clothes only to change into rags and beg at intersections. She said beggars generally live in a communal home and “work” according to a roster system.

“The public may not know, but many of these beggars are drug addicts, and are known to have committed crimes.

“I witnessed a beggar, new in the area, in a ‘turf war’ fight with another. One appeared under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol and was nearly taken out by a large van, and the other was chasing him with an iron bar between the traffic at the intersection of Old Main and Hospital roads.
“The beggars view Hillcrest as a lucrative area and it is likely that a tragedy will occur. This could all be prevented if you would not ‘toss them a coin’. Rather give to organisations that offer beggars skills and employment,” she said.

One of the organisations is POGP.
“Our aim is to help beggars and street children to learn to become self-sufficient, and to encourage the public not to support them,” she said.

For more information, contact Mitchell on 083 419 3807.

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