Poor white South Africans sleep on the streets
By Hassan Isilow
CAPETOWN-As the winter weather gets colder across the country, the true shade of poverty can be seen. Homeless people could be found scrounging for food while sleeping exposed to the elements on the streets without blankets. On Thursday night I visited the streets of Bellville and met several homeless people sleeping under the Bridge next to the Bellville train station.
Marius van Niekerk is one of the several homeless people living on the streets of Bellville. The 22-year-old white South African male from George said he has been without shelter for several months after he came to Cape Town to look for work. “It gets worse when it rains, you can not sleep. It is very cold. I badly need a blanket, but can not afford one, I wish some one could help me.”
When asked where he gets money to eat, Marius related that he depends on food given to him by good Samaritans. “Food handouts don’t come all the time. At times you’re forced to beg or ask people if you can do some odd jobs for them. Life is very difficult. I badly need a job… if some one out there can please help,” he appealed.
Van Niekerk thought life would be better if he left his home town in the South Eastern Cape, heading for the Mother City. But it has not been that easy to find employment and instead he was exposed to just how tough life could get here. “Everywhere you go, they ask you for a CV and if you apply, you wait and wait. I urgently need a job so as to get my own shelter and food. Whatever the job, I’m ready to do it,” he said as tears filled his eyes.