Raphael Felix, 38 and Cornelius Lewis, 68, say initially, a resident hired him to clean the beach after he saw him begging on the street. Picture: Supplied
Raphael Felix, 38 and Cornelius Lewis, 68, say initially, a resident hired him to clean the beach after he saw him begging on the street. Picture: Supplied

Homeless men lauded by beachgoers for keeping Cape beach clean

By Velani Ludidi Time of article published Oct 16, 2020

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Cape Town - Two homeless gentlemen have taken it upon themselves to keep the Rocklands Beach in Sea Point clean.

Cornelius Lewis, 68, says initially, a resident hired him to clean the beach after he saw him begging on the street.

“I was a homeless man, I was divorced and came to Cape Town from Ladysmith.

“I met a guy who said I must clean the beach, he will pay me.

“He retired and left the city at the beginning of the year.”

Cornelius continued cleaning the beach without payment and was joined by Raphael Felix, 38, who lives on the mountain.

“I saw him working alone and I could see he was old,” says Raphael.

“I decided to join him and people would give us either food or money when passing here.”

The duo is well-known and arrive at the beach from 6am and leave when it gets dark.

“Rocklands is the cleanest beach in Sea Point,” says Cornelius.

“I do this because I enjoy it, we take out glass from the sand which could have hurt people and they appreciate it.”

He says the tools they are using were bought by a student who saw them working with their bare hands.

They have a rake, plastic bags, a spade and gloves.

Beachgoer Michael Hulley says: “They are helping us and they deserve employment from the municipality.

“We try as residents to give them money and food now and then, but they are doing a better job than people we pay rates to.”

Cornelius says others have joined them and they hope to start a campaign by homeless people to clean Cape Town’s famous beaches.

Daily Voice

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