On a busy main road this morning I happened to see a common site most South Africans would, to that are the beggars at the traffic junctions. However, I must admit this was my first time witnessing such a desperate and reckless beggar on his knees on a very busy motorway junction.
Many of these beggars are not South African, they have come into the country illegally by bribing officers at the border controls. Gilbert (27), a Zimbabwean told me how easy it is to come into South Africa without proper documentation. He mentioned that it usually cost R2500 to bribe the border control officers. Once they arrive in the country – many cannot find jobs and some don’t have enough to find accommodation thereby the parks have become illegal migrant havens to sleep, bathe and congregate.
Many of such individuals have no identity proof, there are no records of their existence in South Africa and thus it is the perfect condition for organised crime. Much of Johannesburg is slowly being taken over by such migrants with dilapidated, unsanitary and informal businesses on the road-side all trying to make a living.