School stationery woes as D-Day arrives
On a visit to major retailer Shoprite yesterday, the Cape Times saw parents spending between R800 and R1 000 on stationery.
The list for a pupil starting Grade 2 includes a paintbrush, four 43g Pritts, three flip files (20, 30 and 50 pockets), two reams of paper, nine exercise books, a denim chair bag, two packets of retractable crayons, pencil crayons, pencils, scissors, a pencil bag, a ruler, a whiteboard and three markers.
Mother Nomawethu Bheni from Langa described the exercise as “too hard”.
“The most expensive things on the list are Pritt and paper. I only have one child in Grade 3, and I have to budget R600 for stationery only. This excludes fees and transport,” she said.
Sharon Sagomba from Kensington said shopping for her high school sisters in grades 11 and 12 was cheaper than shopping for a primary school child.
“Your total cost depends on what you want in terms of brand and the number of kids you have. High school is definitely much cheaper than primary school.
“I am shopping for two high school girls in different schools. One of the schools, Trafalgar High, charges R2 500 for registration, which includes stationery.
“For the other, my budget is about R500. Most of the things they need are hard-cover books - of which they need about 15 - extra pens, Pritt and textbooks.”
The body said it was intensifying its efforts to ensure that school uniform prices were reasonable and affordable for parents.
In 2018, it probed the supply of school uniforms, where it established that various schools had made exclusive supply deals with stockists, which they found to be anti-competitive.
The guidelines include that school uniforms should be as generic as possible so that they are obtainable from as many suppliers possible.
Exclusivity should also be limited to items that the schools regard as necessary to obtain from pre-selected suppliers, for example, badges, the commission said.
Schools should work to follow a competitive bidding process when appointing suppliers, and appoint more than one supplier to give parents more options.