Your junk is somebody's treasure

Winter came blasting into Cape Town this week. Temperatures are dropping and the air is icy cold. Even our homes are like freezers. Spare a thought for the homeless who live side by side with the elements.
Trolley recyclists resting on the bridge

On Thursday morning, just after seven, we saw a homeless couple resting on the bridge. Their trolleys were loaded with recyclable waste. The man and woman were rather thinly dressed on this bitterly cold day. The two of them must have been early on the road, sifting through people's wheelie bins.

ThIs couple was a picture of resilience; of fighting against the odds. The light drizzle falling at the time and the dark, scowling clouds were temporary obstacles in their path. Their real challenge is surviving the stigma of being a nuisance factor, a threat to our safety and security. And, they jolt our conscience uncomfortably, reminding us that our throwaways become their source of income.

All is not doom and gloom. The sun, surrounded by a halo of orange light signalled the end of the first big winter storm we have had this year. Hopefully our homeless entrepreneurs were not drenched before they reached the recycling depot about 1,5 kilometers from that Diep River bridge.


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