A 64-year-old grandmother, Gogo Nomvula Mahlangu, was thrilled to receive a call from officials at the Gauteng Department of Social Development during the school holidays. They informed her that her granddaughter would be receiving a free school uniform and dignity pack through the Bana Pele Programme.
Bana Pele is a government initiative that provides various services to students from disadvantaged families, including school uniforms, dignity packs, school nutrition, scholar transport, and health services.
When schools reopened last week, Mahlangu, from Evaton in Sedibeng, was among the parents and guardians witnessing their children receive school uniforms and dignity packs from MEC Mbali Hlophe of the Gauteng Social Development and Agriculture, Rural Development, and Environment Department.
In expressing her gratitude, Mahlangu shared that December, traditionally a time for family celebrations, was stressful for her due to financial difficulties. During exams, she noticed that her granddaughter’s school uniform no longer fit, and she couldn’t afford a new one.
Fortunately, the Gauteng Department of Social Development came to her rescue, providing her granddaughter with a new uniform. Mahlangu referred to the department as a “good Samaritan” and expressed relief at receiving the “best gift ever.”
Mahlangu and her husband, both pensioners, face financial challenges while raising Nomvula Jr. Despite limited resources, they prioritize their granddaughter’s education and ensure she doesn’t go hungry.
While their pension grants are insufficient to cover all expenses, they allocate funds for stokvels, burial societies, and their granddaughter’s education. Mahlangu emphasized their commitment to addressing educational needs promptly.
Nomvula Jnr acknowledged that her school uniform no longer fit, but her grandmother assured her that a solution would be found. To their surprise, an official from the department confirmed that she would receive a new school uniform in January, allowing them to enjoy Christmas without stress.
Mahlangu expressed gratitude for being part of the parents witnessing their children receive school uniforms and thanked the department for supporting vulnerable families. She hopes for continued support for those in need. Nomvula Jnr pledged to uphold her commitment and not disappoint her grandparents.