StreetSmart – a worthy cause

I must admit that I do recall seeing little StreetSmart cards at some of the restaurants I’ve been to but I never took the time to read them. Thankfully I was exposed to StreetSmart in another way when I attended the awards celebration for Rossouw’s restaurant guide recently. Rossouw’s restaurant guide supports StreetSmart and so gave them an opportunity to give a short presentation at the event.

The idea is that, with your consent, the participating restaurant will add R5 to your table’s bill (you can choose to give more). That money then goes to various organisations that are actively involved in social development and rehabilitation of street children.

R5 on a restaurant bill is not a lot of money especially when it’s a table of two or more. But if you take R5 from every table sitting at every restaurant, you end up with a lot of money. In fact, StreetSmart SA has raised over a million Rand in 3 years. Last year they shared R400,00 between four charities: Learn to Live, Ons Plek, The Homestead and YEA (Youth Empowerment Action).

It is difficult in South Africa not to think about the disparity between those who have and those who don’t. We eat out at restaurants and spend hundreds of Rands on a meal while there are many who have nothing to eat. I think this is an excellent initiative, all restaurants should participate and all diners should donate the minimum if not more each time they eat out.

What I really like about StreetSmart is that all the donated funds go to the charities, StreetSmart is run by volunteers and sponsors so none of the money from the donations goes towards ‘admin’.

StreetSmart deserves our support.


  1. Belinda Lamprecht June 3, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Agree wholeheartedly – a wonderful idea. It is good to know what to do when faced by these children at traffic lights and that there are charities that work with these children. Well done to Streetsmart SA!

  2. Nols June 8, 2009 at 8:29 am

    We had dinner at Aubergine over the weekend and when I checked the bill later, I noticed that they had automatically added R5 to the bill for StreetSmart. If restaurants add items to a bill that the customer did not request, they should make them aware of that. It is not a charity I support, and if the restaurant feels strongly about it they can subsidize it from their own profit.

  3. Dax June 8, 2009 at 8:54 am

    Hi Nols, thanks for this feedback. I’m sure Streetsmart would be disappointed to hear of restaurants adding the R5 charge without the customer’s consent.

    While the cause is undisputably worthy, you should have the choice.