When we see the evicted, we’re reminded to count our blessings
These people were cold, they were hungry and they were angry at the world.
A passerby looks on at people’s belongings, 2 June 2017, after the Red Ants evicted a few hundred people from land that is currently owned by the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) along Carr Street, in Newtown. Violence did flare up during the evictions with a number of people being injured. Stone were thrown and rubber bullets were fired. Picture: Michel Bega
In the news business, reporters and photographers are occasionally accused of being vultures and of profiting from the suffering of others.
There is some truth in that: we provide you, our readers, with what you want … and sometimes you, too, want to be vultures or voyeurs. But we are not heartless, we are not machines.
We are ordinary people doing our best to provide you with the information you need to make sense of your life and what is happening around you.
And we feel the pain of others, as happened this week when our reporter and photographer were moved by the plight of people evicted from inner-city Johannesburg buildings and who are now housed in tents.
These people were cold, they were hungry and they were angry at the world. And at us, because they don’t believe the media coverage helps them at all.
We documented their plight in the belief that it may inspire people to help. And we called humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers to ask it to provide some meals.
Most of all, though, we hope our coverage serves as a simple reminder of how tough some people’s lives can be and how lucky we are.