Social workers purge PTA streets of beggars with children

Heart wrenching scenes have played out on the streets of Pretoria with social workers and the...

A woman and child beg for money on Republic Road in Randburg. Picture: Taurai Maduna/Eyewitness News

Heart wrenching scenes have played out on the streets of <?xml:namespace prefix="st1" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags"?><place w:st="on"><city w:st="on">Pretoria with social workers and the authorities cracking down on women begging on streets with children.<?xml:namespace prefix="o" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office"?>

In May, Eyewitness News exposed the practice of babies being rented out for as little as R20 a day in Johannesburg.

Some children were being used to elicit sympathy from motorists to get them to donate money.

But other children were from destitute families whose parents said they had no choice other than to keep them by their side.

Police on Friday said they were removing the children and would take them to places of safety for their well-being, something one blind Zimbabwean woman and her three-year-old son did not understand.

The police and social workers swooped on several intersections across <city w:st="on"><place w:st="on">Pretoria.

The police’s Catherine Tladi said, “We are trying to secure children and their mothers in safety homes.”

Although dramatic, she said their intention was to protect the children.