Continual exposure to certain elements in your environment may lead to you becoming less sensitive to it. This has definately happend in my country with the plight of street beggers.
These beggers can range from young children to old people and from all races. They are at every second traffic light, they come up to your windows and beg for money, even knocking on your window to get your attention. I would say 99% of the drivers I've seen, and I include myself, in this don't give - espeically if the person is healthy and strong - the reasoning behind this is that a) you can go look for work - even a car guard (you must google that for SA) b) the government has got wealfare plans and strategies in place - go make use of those (especially for the previously disadvantaged race groups)
I've been wondering what the influx of tourists in 2010 will think about us South Africans that don't pay attention to the road beggers - or - what are your thoughts on that anyhow.
Personally I used to feel very guilty if I didn't give someone something - it got to the point where I was dishing out thousands of rands to people (over the course of a year) You start feeling like it's your problem, like you have to right this wrong. So I decided to start asking if they would like to do odd jobs for money and the response to this was NO (about 8/10) I also asked if I could rather get food - most answers were NO, they wanted the money instead. I only give if I feel moved too and I no longer feel guilty.