Street children are hit hard by the big freeze
By Thabiso Thakali
JOHANNESBURG – As the freezing temperatures and heavy rains continue to wreak havoc in some parts of the country, homeless people and street children have been hit the hardest.
Several organisations taking care of homeless people have made an appeal to the public to donate food and blankets to those vulnerable to winter.
The Salvation Army’s Major Keith Conrad said even though the organisation had begun relief efforts at the beginning of winter, more donations were needed to intensify efforts during the coming freezing weekend.
“We have embarked on night feeding campaigns to assist those living in the streets of Johannesburg as some of them do not want to move from the streets,” he said.
Maj Conrad said they had also sent a relief team to Port Elizabeth, where people have been affected by floods.
SA Red Cross spokesman in the Western Cape Michael Jacobs said more relief was still needed in the Mossel Bay area.
“We appeal to the public for donations as the situation continues to worsen, and we expect it to be stretched into the weekend. More people will require warm clothes and blankets,” he said.
Johannesburg Emergency spokesman Malcolm Midgely said people living on the streets were at risk of hypothermia as their body temperature continued to drop.
“Hypothermia can be fatal because a person’s blood circulation is severely affected.”
Meanwhile the SA Weather Service has warned that the big freeze will continue until the weekend.