Twenty-eight female guards were unfairly dismissed by a security company because the client‚ Metrora.
Parents have started buying uniforms for their children for the new school year. A visit to busy malls and suburban shops found parents with their offspring in tow for top ups and a full kit for new pupils.
Most schools choose designated retailers where their school colours can be bought. This includes dungarees, shirts, socks, blazers, jerseys, caps with stripes or in full colours.
The Friendly House in Roodepoort was doing brisk business yesterday as it is the designated retailer for at least 15 schools in the area.
The shopkeeper, who would not reveal his name for religious reasons, said he had been in the retail business for more than 40 years. His store has been a preferred outlet for 25 years.
He said he has been in contact with school governing bodies regarding the school colours and the full kit pupils at the various schools needed.
He said most schools insisted on a uniform with identifying colours for discipline and to keep their heritage.
"We also design colours and insignia for new schools. We also subsidise uniforms for schools in disadvantaged areas."
The Friendly House sells uniforms for 11 months a year with peaks in December and January and just before winter.
He said uniforms may be costly but they were cheaper than kitting out a child in ordinary clothes.
Cavell Job of Roodepoort and her mother Jamilla Saferdien were in the store to kit out Attiyaah, a Grade 6 pupil, and her sister Sarine who is in Grade 3 at Discovery Primary . Sherezane, who is in Grade 00, also needed a new schoolbag. The two older girls bought tunics and jerseys as they had grown a lot.
"In winter I will be back to buy long pants, long-sleeved shirts, ties, grey socks and grey-checked blazers," Job said.
She said it cost her about R3000 to clothe both girls.
The popular retail chain stores do not sell school colours but a generic grey uniform which is a basic for most schools.
Antoinettes in Witpoortjie has been in the same family for 45 years and has served three generations of pupils.
The manager, Belinda Allen, said grandmothers often accompanied their children when they came to shop for school clothes.
She said their prices were a bit higher but that pupils often wore the same jersey or gymslip for years without the items losing their colour or shape.
Allen said they could not compete with big retail stores because the chains bought in bulk and received discounts.
A mother, who had bought her daughter a uniform for R500 at Antoinettes, complained about private schools that sold uniforms at inflated prices to raise funds.