Car Guards
Photo Credit: Jacaranda FM

Hannelie and Marthinus van Staden fell on hard times, and to make ends meet, the couple became car guards – They spoke to Martin Bester about the myths many believe.


Johannesburg, South Africa (26 March 2021) – Martin Bester of Jacaranda FM got the chance to speak to Hannelie and Marthinus van Staden.

The couple had fallen on hard times and needed to find alternative income options to survive. They became car guards and learned all about the best and worst kinds of people.

During Martin’s conversations with the couple, he learned some truly valuable information that he hopes will shed light on the car guards of South Africa and help break those typical perceptions that many people seem to have about the profession.

“I speak to a lot of people, and appreciate them all but I find real value in conversations that challenge my perceptions and make me want to do better.” – Martin Bester, Morning Drive presenter at Jacaranda FM.

In his conversation, he discussed 6 typical myths about being a car guard.

1. Not all car guards are UNeducated

The facts are, your car guard could be better educated than you think. It seems to be a common belief that car guards choose the job because they are uneducated when the reality is that these people are often educated and have fallen on tough times.

2. The way we treat car guards reveals a lot about us

“I’m not saying you are obligated to tip a car guard, it is 100% your choice – but negative behaviour towards them says so much more about a person’s character (or lack thereof) than the car guard.”

3. Compassion costs nothing

Many car guards are subjected to cruel abuse that no one should endure. A greeting, a smile, eye contact, a kind gesture, or tip goes a long way in demonstrating compassion – something we all need more of right now. Many car guards do what they do out of desperation, but that doesn’t mean they have no dignity or deserve to be mistreated.

4. There’s pride in even the most menial of tasks

Instead of shying away from a tough situation, own it and take pride in what you do. Hannelie reinforced this for Martin when she wanted everyone to know that despite the circumstances, how proud she is of what she is doing.

5. It’s not always about money

“I often feel so guilty because I rarely carry cash on me. I’m so glad to learn that car guards also appreciate an extra bread or cooldrink in your shopping trolly – and this helps more than people realise.”

6. R2 is the norm, but no amount is too small

“I was surprised to hear that on average a car guard will collect R2 from a driver. I often feel so bad to give only a few Rands but be making an effort to carry some change on me now that I know any amount is genuinely appreciated.”

So next time you see a car guard, remember these and see if you can be the change!

Sources: Jacaranda FM – Supplied
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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