Learners of Mayibuye get school uniforms

These are school bags which include the school uniform and dignitary packs.

There were smiles all around Mayibuye Primary School when learners coming from previously disadvantaged families received new school uniforms and dignitary packs.

The donation was led by the Gauteng Department of Social Development’s MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza who was joined by South Africa Social Security Agency (Sassa) regional executive manager Themba Matlou and Ward 110 Clr Lesibana Lamola.

Parents of the beneficiaries were also part of the event.

About 252 learners of Mayibuye Primary School benefitted from the joint donation sponsored by Gauteng’s social development department in partnership with Sassa.

Mayathula-Khoza managed to hand over the school uniform packs with assistance from members of Sassa on the morning of March 7.

When speaking to Mayathula-Khoza, it was revealed that the donation was part of the provincial government’s Bana Pele Program which is aiming to ensure that learners who come from disadvantaged families go to school in a proper uniform.

“There are children in this school whose parents are unemployed or some parents might be working but earn very little. Therefore, they need support from the government. We are here to support both the learners and their families. We’ve reached an agreement with Sassa that we will organise this type of donation together. As social development, we’ve brought about 200 school uniforms and dignitary packs for the learners,” added Mayathula-Khoza.

Some of the learners who benefitted queued to get the school uniform on March 7.

Mayathula-Khoza added it costs about R 2000 per uniform.

“I have been informed that Sassa has spent about half a million rand for the school uniforms they provide a year. We’ve met with the children and shared the importance of doing this work. Our children should focus more on their own education and shouldn’t be worried about torn shoes and uniform. These uniforms and dignity packs restore self-esteem while girl learners don’t miss a day of schooling during their periods throughout the year”, said Mayathula-Khoza.

She said even though education is a basic right of each learner as enshrined in the Constitution, it is equally important that learning conditions are conducive so that learners are able to excel in their educational endeavours.

Meanwhile, the regional head of Gauteng Sassa, Themba Matlou, has emphasised that all they ever want is for the learners to concentrate on their academic lessons and that they do not struggle with what to wear.

“Social relief has been there since the inception of the department at Sassa. When we select these beneficiaries, we go through a screening process at Sassa to ensure that the people who benefit are relevant beneficiaries. We prioritise certain schools in the region depending on the budget,” added Matlou.

Matlou said learners must understand that education is the key.

“They mustn’t shy away from raising their hands for government to help with school fees or uniform. The education department is also there to help them. What we don’t want is for learners to be discouraged to come to school because they are not able to afford things. Government is here to take care of them. Parents must be able to approach the government to intervene. They must come to Sassa and the social development offices to raise their challenges. We will be able to help them,” said Matlou.

In sunglasses, is the Gauteng Department of Social Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza and right next to her is Sassa’s regional executive manager, Themba Matlou. They were joined by other members from Sassa, Ward 110 councillor Lesibana Lamola and school officials, parents and the beneficiaries at Mayibuye Primary School. Learners received a school uniform, which included a dignitary pack.

Kgabo Rammutla from Mayibuye Primary School said they appreciate the gesture from Sassa and the social development department.

“The school caters for about 2029 learners and up to 75 per cent of the learners are needy. Now we expect the learners to come to school dressed in proper school uniform. Our parents should make sure that their children’s uniforms are clean and neat. It is not easy to recognise learners without a school uniform. If we find learners fighting or doing good or bad on the street, it is easy to recognise which school they belong to because of the school uniform,” said Rammutla.

One of the parents, Emmarentia Nkani, said they are very thankful for the donation because a school uniform is expensive.

“With the social grant I get from Sassa, I was battling to buy my two children proper school uniforms. Both Sassa and the department of social development relieved the stress about my children’s school uniforms. I am delighted about that,” added Nkani.

Malebo Tseke

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