Careful with your cash

Careful with your cash

I'm not saying that the subject in this photo is a conman, but I have often seen someone who looks a lot like him wandering around the V&A Waterfront area, apparently asking people for money. I don't think it's common to see this at the Waterfront, so it's kinda weird and unexpected when someone asks you for cash. I think people are often taken by surprise and hand out their money to guys who use this as a regular form of income.

Perhaps it's bad of me, but I've become a lot more skeptical of people asking for money than I previously was, and the internal battle rages on, as I try to decide who's just a chancer and who deserves a break.

8 thoughts on “Careful with your cash

  1. Tony

    Hi Paul

    Yup, I know a fella at Century City who does the same thing. He’s always saying he needs R20 to pay for his parking and his boss is going to fire him, but he left his bank card at home.

    Would imagine this would happen at the Waterfront too.

  2. Karin

    I’ve been approached by this guy often at the Waterfront. He says he is trying to gather R20 for the shelter, but he starts off with such a sad and long story, that you end up giving the full amount to him, to get him to stop!

    I work in the city centre and you are practically tripping over them on every corner. There are so many regulars with weird and wonderful stories, often the stories will change from day to day! I’ve even told them when I recognise them from the day before with a different story.

    It is so difficult to work out who are chancers, as there are so many good actors out there on the streets of Cape Town!

  3. Pedro

    it’s sad to see the increasing n. of people in all areas, regulars or not, at almost every crossroad now, asking for money, with or without a story, needy or not. I have sadly taken the habit not to give money to people asking in the street, I prefer to hand, when I can, sums to organization who help kids and people with problems instead. Not a cent from my car window or at my doorstep or in the street, sorry, and my point of view is backed by most of the ngo’s who work to help people with problems, so that the (business) habit is eradicated and the really needy ones can look for a solution by themselves, if they can, or through an organization, if they can’t.

  4. Guinivea

    I was caught out in Durbanville outside Checkers one Saturday afternoon. I was rushing around getting ready for the braai and rugby about to take place when this guy came to me saying how he urgently needs bus or taxi fair to get to some place (I can’t remember the details) so I gave him the R20 he needed. The next Saturday the SAME man came to me with the same story and I told him I helped him the week before and he gave me the same story. He just walked away.
    Now I no longer give money, if I see a hungry person I will buy some extra food in the shop and give that on my way out instead.

    I like the way you captured it, is a good photo!

  5. Paul

    Post author

    Hey Karin – I’ve taken to listening to my “inner-truth-o-meter”. If I have half a feeling that the guy is lying to me I make it principle not to give anything.

    Pedro, I think you’re right. People need jobs, not only to earn their own keep, but to foster their dignity… or so I believe.

    Guinivea, you’re such a sweetie. I can just imagine you doing that. Previously people would ask for money for food, but these day’s it seems that one is asked for rent money, taxi fair, or anything that renders hard cash as the only solution. I sometimes question these guys in circles until I’m convinced that the story’s a lie.

  6. Beverley

    Strange for all the 7 weeks we were in and about CT earlier this year, ok as tourists, but not once were we approached for money but maybe it’s on the increase now and we’ll keep a look out for it when we come back in January and remember this post!!

    Like the photo Paul..tells the story well.

  7. Paul

    Post author

    I’m glad to head that Bev. I don’t think it’s on the increase, I think you’ve just been lucky – or perhaps you guys look too intimidating. :D

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