(Johannesburg) – South Africa’s largest black-owned JSE-listed property group, Rebosis Property Fund, has taken steps to support education countrywide by providing R200,000 worth of school shoes to underprivileged pupils at the start of the new school year.
Distributed nationally via four of its major shopping centres, the school shoes represent the group’s commitment to education drives as a means to eradicating poverty and promoting economic development in South Africa, says the company.
According to Rebosis marketing manager Deborah Bailey, providing school shoes is a tangible and practical solution, giving relief to the children – many of whom are forced to walk long distances barefoot to school each day.
“As part of our social and ethical mandate, Rebosis Property Fund has recognised an overwhelming need to contribute positively to communities surrounding its shopping centres,” said Bailey.
She said each of the four malls – Forest Hill City in Centurion, Baywest Mall in Port Elizabeth, and Hemingways Mall and Mdantsane City in East London – had carefully selected their beneficiary schools according to need within their respective communities.
“Each of our shopping centres has its own social investment projects and, as a group, Rebosis will continue to support education as a key objective to contributing towards a sustainable future for South Africa,” Bailey said.
Forest Hill City has spearheaded the campaign in the Gauteng region, with general manager Annah Moremela adding that the mall was involved in a number of social upliftment projects in neighbouring Olievenhoutbosch, where the school shoe delivery took place on Friday (February 3).
Moremela said her centre management team had identified three schools in that community, notably Orefile Primary School, which is Gauteng’s first state-of-the-art, sustainable “green” school, providing education and hope to the surrounding shack-dwelling families.
“The harsh reality is that, for many of these children, going to school is one of the few times they enter a brick building and most come to school on an empty stomach. Their parents are too poor to afford school shoes and we are very proud to be able to assist them in a meaningful way,” said Moremela.
Last year, the mall donated waterproof backpacks to almost 500 Orefile pupils in grades 4 to 7.
This year, Bathabile and Philena primary schools have joined the beneficiary list, which will see 500 pupils in Grades 1 to 4 receiving school shoes.
“Education is top of our corporate social investment list and our role is to support our youth and complement public sector initiatives,” added Moremela.