[LISTEN] 'I won't give workers lifts because they stink', says caller

Caller Peggy describes how she witnessed workers being lifted on the N1 in Johannesburg on the back of a bakkie in the cold and rain.

These guys are probably going to be working when they get there. If he doesn't want to sit with the guys, why doesn't he at least give them taxi money and meet them there? I am really upset.

Peggy, Caller, Johannesburg

Peggy's call triggered a strong response from listeners.

Another caller insisted that while he has a double cab vehicle, workers insist they prefer sitting on the back.

They don't want to sit in the front with me.

Gideon, caller Cape Town

He says it happens to everyone when they drive bakkies and pick-ups, black and white.

Eusebius agrees we never know the full story about each example, but given the country and its history, it is more likely to be the case that the driver forced the workers to sit on the back of the vehicle.

Caller Simba weighed in, saying don't make assumptions so quickly:

We black people should stop being so sensitive and judgmental and see someone sitting at the back and assume that the white guy has done something wrong. What if the white guy was just giving these people a lift? How many of us black people, are willing to give other blacks lifts, even at the back of our cars? We drive to work in our cars all alone. I see that every day when I drive to Fish Hoek. It's only whites who are prepared to give those poor security guards lifts.

Simba, caller, Cape Town

And then Busi called in to the Eusebius Mckaiser show:

What I know is those guys refuse to wash. They stink...the workers. They refuse to wash. They are not friendly with the water.

Busi, caller

And callers and Twitter reacted with horror to Busi's comments.

Callers expressed sadness about Busi's comment, highlighting the difficult conditions in which they live and how inhumane and callous it was.

Peter called to say lifting people on the back of bakkies is unacceptable:

These people sitting on the back of vehicles - I don't care if it rains or is sunny, it is illegal!

Peter, caller

He says he is also in the construction industry and got minivans expressly so that he could lift his staff inside the vehicle.

I don't agree with putting people's lives at risk... Don't we care about human beings anymore? We think we are this chosen few.. and can treat other people like animals.

Peter, caller

Lantern called almost in tears.

My heart is bleeding... hundreds of people are sharing toilets... where does she come from? It is not a choice to be suffering like this.

Lantern, caller

Lesego summed up Busi's comments, saying:

In the words of Bob Marley, she needs to free herself from mental slavery.

Lesego, caller

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