Harsh reality

WHILE beggars are a daily reality for many metropolises across the world, South Africa has been disappointingly indifferent to the phenomenon.

WHILE beggars are a daily reality for many metropolises across the world, South Africa has been disappointingly indifferent to the phenomenon.

Depending on who one speaks to they are considered either a public menace or an unfortunate by-product of the harsh realities of urban existence.

Gleaned from a news feature published in this newspaper yesterday is that many beggars holding out the begging bowl at numerous street corners in cities like Joburg are homeless refugees from neighbouring countries such as Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

In the absence of a political solution to the refugee problem, intervention by the government and non-governmental organisations has sadly been ad hoc - if not lethargic - condemning many refugees to a tough life of vagrancy.

X