NOTHEMBA Mcoki and her two younger brothers could not believe their eyes when they got new school uniforms from the Vulindlela Taxi Association.
Like many of their classmates, Nothemba, 13, and her brothers Silindile, 11, and Thobani, 8, come from a poor family in the Somali informal settlement in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni.
They used to go to school wearing worn-out shoes and tatty school uniforms because their sick and unemployed father could not afford new ones.
But last Thursday they were all smiles while they kept on touching their new uniforms in disbelief.
"I was wearing old and torn tackies," Silindile said. "I did not have school shoes."
He was ecstatic over his new shoes, jersey, trousers, shirt and tie.
Nothemba said their mother died in 2006 and their father was bedridden.
The Mcoki children were among about a 100 pupils from the Thembakazi and Rebontsheng primary schools who benefited from Vulindlela's initiative.
The taxi association also handed out food parcels and R6000 to each school.
"We were touched to see children going to school in worn-out shoes, trousers and dresses," Vulindlea chairperson Zandisile Hlekishumi said. "We thought we should help because these are the children of our commuters."
He said the association would continue identifying needy children and help in any way it could.
Thembakazi's principal Archibald Guda could not contain his joy.
"I don't have words to to thank Vulindlea," he said. "Most of our children come from disadvantaged families."