Giving beggers money is a no-no

2016-05-17 06:00
Clearing the railway line are from left: Siyabonga Mdlangathi, Bhikisa Msomi, Nkosi Ntombela, Gabriel Ncube and Thabane Nzimande. Photo: supplied

Clearing the railway line are from left: Siyabonga Mdlangathi, Bhikisa Msomi, Nkosi Ntombela, Gabriel Ncube and Thabane Nzimande. Photo: supplied

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THE next time a beggar approaches or passes you and you want to give them money, stop and think first, because your “kindness” could be one day be illegal.

This is the message from the Hillcrest non-profit organisation, Phuma Okhoneni Garden Project (POGP), that aims to get beggars off the street and into a sustainable income-generated project.

Thabane Nzimande, POGP chairman said there was a concern that beggars were growing in numbers in Hillcrest, resulting in the formation of the NPO three years ago.

“Our aim is to help beggars and street children become self-sufficient and to encourage the public not to support them,” he said.

“We also acquired a grant from the municipality, which has helped the organisation to fulfill our aim of instilling a culture of ‘work’ instead of ‘beg’ and I am mentoring beggars and helping them become independent.”

He said last week many beggars donned their work boots and helped cleaned the rail reserve of litter and were paid for their efforts.

Nzimande urged the public not to give money to the beggars.

“I understand that their plight does affect us all and we relent and give them a coin, however, I ask that instead of throwing them a coin, you donate to the POGP.”

“All the transactions are audited and our books are open to scrutiny.”

Marge Mitchell, the treasurer of the organisation, also urged residents to not support begging.

She said begging should be illegal and those who give change to beggars are supporting this activity.

“This is an ideal project to decrease the amount of beggars on our street and get them into a full-time income- generated project.” “I urge residents to support this project as it will ultimately benefit the entire community of Hillcrest,” she added.

To contribute to the project, or for more information, contact Mitchell on 083 419 3807.

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