With a tighter economy, Fourways residents have seen an increase in beggars on intersections.
According to Future City Fourways‘ Jean Berdou, the beggars were seen at traffic lights asking for handouts and some accosting drivers. “It is regrettable as a nation at this point in time to find ourselves in a situation where members of the community are in such desperate circumstances to take begging as their last resort.”
He explained that it was always appropriate to assist others in need but highly questionable when it is done at traffic lights and stop signs.
“Giving towards charity, upliftment empowerment projects is and should be a part of those who are always willing to give, however, giving clothing, money, food to beggars at intersections attracts such persons to these intersections because it pays them to be there.”
Berdou highlighted that with the high numbers of beggars, it has led to an increase in crimes such as smash-and-grabs as well as robberies in cars. “The beggar might be a drug addict or sell stolen property and stolen goods,” he said.
“It is crucial that the local authorities get to grips with this issue and FCF teams are working with social welfare and Metro police to relocate beggars out of our area to places of safety as 15 vagrants have so far been relocated the previous month and a small group of vagrants on the corner of Fourways Boulevard and Cedar are in the process of being moved.
“Begging at intersections, including persons kneeling down on roads, has been reported which presents a hazard to the beggars and motorists alike especially in the dark.”
He recommends that drivers and residents stop supporting beggars at intersections because once they see it is no longer worth their while they will stop being there.
What can be done about beggars at intersections? Share your views on the Fourways Review Facebook page.
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