Back to school mania in full swing

2016-01-12 08:06
Nontombi Ngcayi does the dreaded back to school shop. (Jenni Evans, News24)

Nontombi Ngcayi does the dreaded back to school shop. (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town - Be afraid. Be very afraid. It is back to school week and the last minute rush for stationery and uniforms is in full swing.

"I can't tell from this list whether the exercise books must be Irish line or not," wailed Simonne Stellenboom leaning into the towering display of books on sale at Shoprite in Cape Town's CBD.

"And they need different colour fineliners," she said in solidarity with another mother.

Nontombi Ngcayi had cleverly triaged her children's stationery list and had sent them off to find folders while she searched for the fineliners.

"It's hectic," she laughed, as shop assistants hung sticks of glue up as fast as they were leaving the racks ahead of the start of the new school year on Wednesday.

"It costs R2 000 just for these two in primary school for stationery and their uniform, and then I have another two to buy for," she said.

Her trolley was also laden with the boxes of tissues and rolls of toilet paper that schools request.

The unemployed mom saved for stationery for the whole year and over Christmas they did not spend wildly like some families.

"Of course Christmas day is special, so we do something then, and we buy the children new clothes.

"But if I didn't save I would have to borrow money and the end of January I would just have to pay it all back."

          Parents in the last minute rush for school items for their children. (Jenni Evans, News24)

Mother of three, Abigail Viveiros, decided she would drop off her stationery list at Waltons and fetch it when it was made up for her.

Last minute scramble

"Now to label," said the busy matric teacher from Johannesburg, who had to prepare for her class of 2016.

After surviving the scramble for the last bumper pack of HB pencils, the next phase of back-to-school kicked in - the mind-numbing process of labeling each individual pen, pencil, and koki pen.

Then came the dreaded book covering and signing of endless forms and notices.

This had opened a gap in the market, with some enterprising people offering to do these chores for a small fee.

Some mums and dads were using Facebook to avoid the crowds and save some money.

On sites such as Table View School Stuff, parents could post pictures of old uniforms and textbooks for sale.

Children lucky enough to have a tablet to use for school would be talking their parents through downloading a text book, pretending to listen to the stern warnings on not playing Clash of the Clans during school time, and not using up all their data on their first day.

Read more on:    education

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