Highveld listeners give generously

Namhla Tshisela

Namhla Tshisela

Thousands of Gauteng primary school children have been armed with learning material, thanks to the generosity of radio listeners.

As part of Operation Ground Cover 2, 94.7 Highveld Stereo listeners were asked to contribute stationery and other necessities to disadvantaged pupils.

Listeners responded generously and gave R600000 worth of art and culture material, books, pencils, pens and other learning aids.

The initiative also attracted the attention of companies such as Croxley, McMillan South Africa and BIC. These companies gave back-to-school goodies, which when added to the listeners' contributions, amounted to a whopping R2million.

Highveld Stereo's manager Ravi Naidoo said: "The beginning of the school year is a time of great excitement for many schoolchildren. But for others, it signifies the start of a renewed battle to try to learn without access to even the most basic educational tools such as pens and books."

The most needy schools were identified by the Education Department and the stationery was distributed to 15 primary schools in Alexandra, Soweto, Eldorado Park, Ennerdale, Orange Farm and Diepsloot in Gauteng.

Nzimelu Khumalo, principal of Reamohetswe Primary School in Orange Farm, in the Vaal, said: "The material will last for more than three years. Highveld's listeners have blessed our school and we thank God."

He said the money the school would have spent on stationery would now be spent to buy computers and for Internet access.

"The donation also means that we can now encourage the pupils to excel in their studies," Khumalo said.

Muzomuhle Primary School in Diepsloot, which has more than 1690 pupils, also benefitted from the initiative.

Principal John Ramarumo said: "This has made us feel part of the greater Gauteng community and reminded us that there are people who think of those in need."

Highveld Stereo listeners and insurance company, Outsurance, handed over 81 tons of blankets and winter clothes to various charities as part of Operation Ground Cover in June.

Highveld Stereo spokesman, Natasha Wadvalla, said: "If something is brought to our attention and we can help, we will definitely get involved."