Joburg hospital pupils receive bus donation

October 21 2019: AfroCentric Chairman Dr Anna Mokgokong comforting School principal Lydia Phephi could not hide her tears as she said this was a big relief for her pupils.
October 21 2019: AfroCentric Chairman Dr Anna Mokgokong comforting School principal Lydia Phephi could not hide her tears as she said this was a big relief for her pupils.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

As thousands of matriculants sit for their national senior certificate examinations today, Kamogelo Mathole, 19, will spend the day in hospital hoping for her oxygen cylinder to be filled.

Mathole is a grade 12 pupil at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital School, which is based at the hospital's premises. But she will not be able to write her final examinations because of ill-health.

Yesterday, Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku handed over a school bus donated by AfroCentric. The bus will make life a lot easier for Mathole and her fellow pupils who have been struggling to reach the hospital using public transport.

The school has 35 pupils from grade R to 12 who all suffer from chronic illnesses. Kamogelo's mother Pinky Mathole, 64, said the bus will provide relief to her family.

October 22 2019: AfroCentric group donated a bus to Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital School.
October 22 2019: AfroCentric group donated a bus to Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital School.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

"I am hurt that Kamogelo could not be here [at AfroCentric offices where the bus handover ceremony was held in Joburg] with us today because she is in hospital as her oxygen is running out. I had to bring her to school everyday to monitor her oxygen. We stay in Meadowlands, Soweto, and we had to take two taxis to her school. At times she had to stay home because I did not have the taxi fare," she said.

The bus will transport pupils from their homes to school and later take them back home.

Robin Moraba, 17, a grade 11 pupil, said he was also excited. "Some of us missed school because of transport problems. I also want to go to university one day and there is nothing that will stop me now."

School principal Lydia Phephi said the rate of absenteeism at the school will be reduced. "Transport was really a problem for our pupils as they were subjected to rude taxi drivers."

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