Saying ‘Don’t give money to beggars in South Africa’ may sound wicked and harsh but the Question is why was it said? The truth is that most of the beggars on the streets of South Africa misuse the money given to them on illegal drugs instead of food and other essential items that will add value to their lives.
Solidarity Helping Hand published a report which states that ‘most beggars on the street are drug addicts’ – as many as 80% to 90%. And you know what happens when you hand a drug addict some money.
Solidarity senior researcher Nicolien Welthagen conducted interviews which revealed that 20% of the money that beggars receive goes towards feeding, while the rest is spent on hard drugs. This is rather discouraging especially for people who patronize these beggars. The interviews were conducted in July 2015 and published in a body of work entitled: White Beggars & Drug Dependence.
The interviews were conducted with seven drug addicts who were already admitted to Moegge-sukkel or House Regeneration in Pretoria. The respondents were specifically chosen because, according to the staff of Moeggesukkel, they would be most suitable to answer the research questions considering their conditions.
All seven of them are males and their ages are 24, 26, 27, 29, 30, 33 and 48 years. Welthagen made emphasis on the fact that the research was based on studying small groups of people, not a particular race.
The report further warned that for the general public, it is impossible to know who is drugged and who is not, who is going to buy food with the money given to them and who is going to buy drugs. The best thing to do in this situation is to buy them food instead or better still point the beggar in the right direction to get a job to sustain himself instead of resorting to begging.
Begging remains a humiliating act that affects human dignity negatively. It speaks to the heart and soul of a community. But then, why can’t beggars escape from their circumstances and make better choices? Why is begging on the street the only way out for these people?
Don’t give money to beggars in South Africa, give them food or other things instead.