- Benedict Maaga was driving along a road in Vanderbijlpark
- A man named Lucas asked him for a lift to the highway so he could find work in Johannesburg
- He discovered Lucas has been unemployed for 10 years
A Gauteng resident has shared a heartbreaking story of Lucas, whom he referred to as one of South Africa's 10 million unemployed citizens.
Writing on Facebook, Benedict Maaga said he was driving along a road in Vanderbijlpark when Lucas asked him for a lift.
Lucas was trying to get to the highway so he could proceed to Johannesburg to get work for the day, Briefly.co.za gathered.
Benedict learned that Lucas is a former truck driver who has been unemployed for 10 years. He hitches lifts every day to find work. He explained:
His daily existence, he tells me, is quite dire. He doesn’t know what, if anything, will be eaten tonight as his wife too is unemployed.
Benedict took Lucas as far as he could and gave him the R100 he had in his pocket. He said he was moved by Lucas' "combination of desperation and hope."
The concerned South African urged his fellow citizens to show more empathy when talking about the unemployed.
While Benedict said people cannot be expected to give lifts to every stranger, they can be a little more understanding:
My plea however, would be for a little empathy when referring to 'lazy poor people' who, unlike us, 'haven’t worked hard enough to lift themselves up by their bootstraps like us.'
I have heard [this] more times than I care to remember. Let’s be a little kind, as it costs us very little to do so.
Benedict's story touched the hearts of many commenters. One of them wrote:
Such an awesome story! So true, don't be overwhelmed by just how much needs to be done. Start with one person and make a difference in their life.
Find out what gift Will Smith gets for his birthday in this hilarious cartoon from our Briefly - South Africa YouTube channel.
Do you have a story to share with us? Inbox us on our Facebook page and we could feature your story.
To stay up to date with the latest news, download our news app on Google Play or iTunes today.