Seeing beggars at a traffic intersection has been normalised in South Africa and easily dismissed even as numbers increase due to a spike in whoonga addiction and the high employment rate. However, seeing someone you know begging on the side of the road is extremely painful.
I recently had what will go down in my history as one of the most troubling experiences of my life. I pulled up at traffic lights in Durban and two homeless people came to my window. I didn’t have anything to give them but I still made brief eye contact before gesturing with my hands to indicate that I had nothing to give them.