Good Samaritans clean Pretoria streets trashed by strikers
Good Samaritans rolled up their sleeves and took it upon themselves to help clean up a "massive mess" after a municipal workers' strike left the Pretoria CBD littered with trash.
Dare To Love - a Christian organisation that aims to "take up the challenge to speak Grace and Truth into a world that desperately needs to hear" - was motivated by the scenes of anarchy in the CBD last week to help restore the city to working condition.
Workers demanding an increase of 18% left the administrative capital in a state of squalor, at times resembling a war-zone, with refuse trucks dumping rubbish in the streets.
"It was a massive mess," said organiser Daryl Hardy.
The organisation enlisted the help of the city's homeless community to try to engage them in community service.
"A couple of months ago we saw homeless people being killed in the city, and they have started sleeping in Church Square for the sake of safety in numbers," he said. "We got there with about 200 of our own and they joined us in tackling the mess."
Dare To Love began as a fellowship and Bible study group of seven men at a Mugg & Bean. It has since grown into a broader community of do-gooders who want to make a difference for homeless people in the greater Tshwane region.
The organisation runs outreach programmes and donation drives, but insists it is not a run-of-the-mill charity operation.
"We don’t do charity - we challenge guys to serve alongside us," said Hardy. "We don’t want people waiting for handouts, but challenge them to walk the talk and actively serve."
Armed with refuse bags and broomsticks, the army of Good Samaritans went about collecting rubbish. Hardy said they were able to clean the square and surrounding streets in about two hours.
"The city helped out but essentially it was the community. Some of the guys from the council find it embarrassing because the community has had to step up," he said.
"The responsibility to love thy neighbour - I cannot teach that to government. We are breaking paradigms of religion and making it tangible by getting guys on the streets to help out and actively serve the community."