Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Host Cities Sweeping Vagrants and Prostitutes Off Streets

Street children, prostitutes and vagrants are being swept from the streets in South Africa's World Cup host cities. They are being relocated to places with services, according to some officials, but other say they are being put in concentration camps. Street vendors and advocates are outraged.

As the continent's biggest economy, South Africa's streets are a magnet for immigrant beggars, who see the country as a step out of poverty.

In the last two months, police in Johannesburg swooped on mainly Zimbabwean blind beggars who roam the busy streets and women who sit with babies at road intersections - much to the anger of rights groups.

"Their presence violates the city bylaws and we arrest them. In many cases those in need, like women with children and disabled people, are referred to places of safety, where they can access welfare services," said Edna Mamonyane, spokeswoman for the Johannesburg Metro Police.

Poor, prostitutes removed from streets
Independent Online
May 18, 2010