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Parents scramble on stationery deals during economic hardships

In preparation for big school next week, Rene Abrahams took daughter Mia stationery shopping. Mia said she was excited to start Grade 1. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency

In preparation for big school next week, Rene Abrahams took daughter Mia stationery shopping. Mia said she was excited to start Grade 1. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency

Published Jan 11, 2022

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CAPE TOWN - The school stationery scramble is in full swing as parents shop around to find the best deals amid unprecedented economic hardships.

Schools in coastal provinces will reopen next week, while inland schools are expected to open tomorrow.

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On a visit to major retailers Shoprite and Pep stores on Monday, the Cape Times witnessed the stationery aisle packed with parents stacking their baskets with school supplies.

Claud Plaatjies, a single parent of two girls in grades R and grade 5, said he was using his January salary to buy their stationery at Shoprite.

“For stationery alone, it will work out to just over R2 000, but I still need to get more things that are not stationery items such as wool, puzzles and wet wipes,” he said.

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Plaatjies added that his daughter starting Grade R required more supplies than the one going to grade 5.

He had purchased his eldest’s child’s school uniform last year, but still needed to get other necessities such as a lunch box, school shoes and bag.

“In total their school supplies will cost me just below R4 000, excluding school fees and transportation,” said Plaatjies.

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The necessities list for a learner starting grade R includes four reams of paper, a skipping rope, four packs of wet wipes, two 43kg Pritt, a wooden puzzle, magazines, toilet paper rolls, flip files and play dough.

Portia Qambi said she had compared the prices of various supermarkets, and found Shoprite to be the cheapest option.

“I have one child in grade 6 and one in grade 3 but catering for the child in grade 6 is more expensive as she requires 18 books.

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“The grade 3 stationery list is much cheaper as they do not have a lot of subjects,” said Qambi.

Qambi said that she managed to put aside R1 500 for both her children’s stationery.

Along with her Christmas shopping last year, she had managed to buy the children’s school uniforms already.

“It is a lot of money if you have more children, you need to budget.”

Acting manager at Pep Stores in Delft Mall, Mushfieka Lewendal, said they were working with the parents’ pocket.

The store has a promotion on school clothes that runs until January 18.

The promotion includes R20 off all school essentials such as school shirts, socks, shoes, books and other things.

“We are emptying out our stock room and filling up the shelves as people are continuously buying.

“The promotion is on all our school essentials especially the school uniforms, we are expecting more customers that is why we are always filling up all the time so that we can be ready for them,” she said.

Cape Times

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