Officials welcome gift to Soweto learners
Soweto businessman Moss Meje was showered with praises at the Soweto Theatre in Jabulani on Tuesday for providing more than 500 needy primary school learners with uniforms.
Meje, owner of Senaoane-based construction company Morekuri Trading, paid six local cooperatives a combined total of R500 000 to procure uniforms for underprivileged children in six primary schools in Tladi and Moletsane after being approached by Ward 21 Councillor Matlomola Kekana.
The official handover of the uniforms – 84 sets each per school – was attended by high-profile personalities such as Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, Provincial Legislature Speaker Ntombi Mekgwe, City of Johannesburg Member of the Mayoral Committee for Health and Social Development Councillor Nonceba Molwele and Council Speaker Councillor Conny Bapela, who were all full of praise for Meje, whom they described as “a social entrepreneur with a big heart”.
MMC Molwele, who was representing Johannesburg Executive Mayor Councillor Parks Tau, expressed her gratitude for partnerships aimed at developing communities.
She said these fitted well into the City’s Growth and Development Strategy 2040 (GDS 2040)). "We cannot achieve social inclusivity on our own but we can do that with the likes of Morekuri Trading. Our children are our greatest treasure. Let today serve as a symbol of hope for these children, our future leaders," she said.
The ceremony coincided with the 43rd birthday of Councillor Kekana, who worked closely with Meje to ensure the children did not feel out of place when they were in school.
Nine-year-old Bonolo, a Grade 4 pupil at Mochochonono Primary school in Tladi, wore a big smile after being given a brand new set of uniform. “I’m very happy and grateful that they gave us uniforms. My father does not work and we could not afford another set of uniforms,” she said.
Some of the children who benefited – identified through a process that involved teachers and members of school governing bodies – came from Leitsibolo, Dumelang, Merafe, Tlhlologelo and Dilawankwetla primary schools.
MEC Lesufi thanked Councillor Kekana and Meje for their hard work and generosity. “Uniforms boost children’s confidence. It’s not right that most poor children’s confidence is affected because they look different. We have to take care of the children of the poor," he said.
Congress of South African Students’ President, Nkhobo Khomongoe, 17, was also impressed. “We appreciate what has been done here today. This will encourage the learners to do better in school so they can have a better future,” he said.
Clr Kekana said Johannesburg was a city at work. “We’re dirtying our hands for the good of our people and education is our priority,” he said.
He praised Meje for working with local cooperatives. “You empowered them. These people worked through the festive season to deliver this huge order. And the quality of their work is excellent,” he said.
Meje replied: “This is about giving back to my community. I know how it feels to go to school without proper school uniform.”