Over 300 learners from disadvantaged families across the districts will no longer have to go to school without proper school uniforms. This, after North West Social Development MEC Lazarus Mokgosi undertook a back to school drive to handover school uniform to identified learners in quintile 3 schools in Ngaka Modiri Molema, Dr Kenneth Kaunda and Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati districts.
Led by MEC Mokgosi, the back to school programme is the initiative of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) which provides for Social Relief of Distress (SRD) to children from needy households.
About 320 learners who benefitted from the social relief of distress programme are those who were attending school at the time of identification of beneficiaries for school uniform including those from poor economic background where children’s grants are the only source of income.
Male learners who were accompanied by their parents, received school shirts, golf shirts, jersey, pull over, tracksuit, long and short pants, shoes, socks, tie and vests to the value of R2 500 while female learners received similar commodities to the value of R2 700.
Addressing learners and parents at Tshwaraganelo primary school in Ipelegeng township near Schwaizer-Reneke, Mokgosi said Apartheid system contributed largely to the current socio-economic challenges communities face. The current government, Mokgosi said, cannot reverse the effect of the 350 years of apartheid in 30 years. It is for this reason that government introduced social security system to provide services to the vulnerable children, women and people with disabilities.
“The provision of school uniform , sanitary and dignity packs to needy learners will go a long way in securing the future of our country. We are investing in these children including youth. If we do not invest in them we are doomed as a country,” Mokgosi said, adding that parents should wash the uniform and sure that their children have dignity when they go to school.
One of the parents, Dipuo Kgwele who came to receive her child’s school uniform at Matlhajaneng primary school at Boitumelong township in Lekwa Teemane, said the authorities came at the right time to handover school to their children. “ We are so grateful for this gesture. Some of us here are not working and we couldn’t afford to buy new uniform any time soon. This new uniform will serve as a motivation to our children,” Kgwele said.
According to the South African Social Security Agency’s regional executive manager Zodwa Mvulane the school uniform is being procured from local cooperatives and small medium and macro enterprises and parents are not required to pay back the money that the agency has spent on procuring the school uniform.
Departmental Spokesperson – Petrus Siko
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Issued by the Department of Social Development