Beggars can’t be boozers



June 21, 2016
Beggars can’t be boozers

EAT: John Pieterse, 44, got a loaf of bread and warme soup.

Poor get vouchers which they can exchange at soup kitchen.

A non-profit organisation has come up with an idea of selling coupons to the public to solve the problem of beggars using money for drugs and alcohol.

Instead of giving bergies their hard-earned cash, residents and visitors in Gansbaai can buy coupons at the SHARE Charity Shop in Fabrieksweg.

The coupons are handed out to the less fortunate, who can then exchange it at SHARE for a lekker bord kos.

The soup kitchen is run from the Beverly Hills informal settlement on the edge of the coastal dorpie.

Shops in the area can also buy coupons with which they “pay” the homeless to do odd jobs.

John Pieterse earned his voucher by picking up litter.

John, 44, thinks the voucher is an “awesome” idea, and it’s sometimes the only supply of food for him and his girlfriend Mariana Abrahams.

“On rainy days we can’t get wood to sell, so then we do small jobs for the shops so we can get coupons for the food. This way the streets are kept clean and people can get something to eat,” says John.

Pastor Frikkie Zeelie of SHARE says proceeds from voucher sales are ploughed back into the impoverished community, where he estimates the unemployment rate could be as high as 80 percent.

“SHARE is a registered NPO and stands for Social Skills, Health issues, Animals, Restoration and Rehabilitation and Education,” the pastor explains.

They feed people and animals, teach the unemployed new skills, operate a creche and also plan to start a sewing program in the next two weeks.

Zeelie says they started Rainbow Kids Crèche in 2014, after learning that kids in Beverly Hills lag behind their classmates.

“As a result there were children as young as nine sniffing glue,” says Zeelie.

But that has changed and now kids are sent to school, fully kitted out in a uniform, shoes, stationery and school bag, he adds proudly.

Susan “Ant Tollas” Mentoor, 59, says Pastor Zeelie and SHARE have made a huge difference in Beverly Hills.

“The soup kitchen feeds approximately 100 people every day. Some take the food home because it’s their only meal for the day.”

Anyone who wishes to make a contribution can contact pastor Zeelie on 082 498 6992.

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