EWN/Carte Blanche exposé: Children for rent in JHB
Mandy Wiener and Susan Comrie (Carte Blanche) | 1 Hour Ago
A joint Eyewitness News/Carte Blanche investigation has revealed that babies and young children are available for rent on the streets of Johannesburg - for as little as R20 a day.
Black beggars are renting the children in order to earn more money from motorists.
The probe has also found that many of these children could be deliberately hurt or drugged to garner sympathy from the public.
An estimated 300 mothers with babies and toddlers stand at intersections across the city every day begging for cash.
Over the past few weeks, Eyewitness News and Carte Blanche have gone undercover and spoken to black women begging at traffic lights.
The investigation has found that many are hiring children because holding a baby while begging is far more lucrative.
“They are not my children; I hire them for R20 a day,” said one woman.
With a child, a woman can earn hundreds of rands more each day.
“If it is the end of the month in some areas you can earn between R300 to R400 a day,” said another woman.
Charity worker Elsabe Coetzee has made it her personal crusade to remove these children from the streets.
“These women actually admit they are renting the children,” said Coetzee.
Occupational therapist Velda Frankim, who treats the babies and toddlers once they are in Coetzee’s care, believes that the so-called "mothers" are deliberately harming these children.
“A child who is under the influence is compliant and a child who is drunk will not cry when he is hungry because he is passed out,” said Frankim.
She warned of short term life threatening medical effects and long term social implications.
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