Special Easter surprise for family who survive off social grants

2017-04-14 09:29
Donique, Monique, Berenice, Zoe, Ashwin and Hilton Plaatjies of Hanover Park, who survive on monthly government grants of R1 050. (Tammy Petersen/News24)

Donique, Monique, Berenice, Zoe, Ashwin and Hilton Plaatjies of Hanover Park, who survive on monthly government grants of R1 050. (Tammy Petersen/News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - For the first time in years, Berenice and Hilton Plaatjies’s children will have Easter eggs for Easter, thanks to News24 readers.

Berenice will also be able to pay the fishmonger who allowed her to buy two tiny fish on credit so her family can have the traditional pickled fish on Good Friday, along with the complementary hot cross buns.

In little more than a week, News24 readers raised R15 000 for the Plaatjies household after reading about their plight of surviving solely on social grants amounting to R1050.

- Read: How R1050 keeps a grant dependent family going

What readers raised for the family is more than a year’s worth of government grants. With it, the family will finally be able to fill up their empty kitchen cupboards for the first time in as a long as Berenice can remember.

Berenice, who refers to herself as her household's "Minister of Finance", spoke candidly to News24 in February about her monthly struggle to make ends meet for her family, that includes her three young children, Zoe, 7, Ashwin, 13, and Donique, 16. Monique, 19, graduated from a special-needs school.

Berenice and her husband live in a council flat in Hanover Park with 16 other people. They have not had a fixed income since Hilton lost his job more than a year ago.

Disbelief 

When News24 visited the Plaatjies family to hand over the money on Thursday, an incredulous Berenice clutched the white envelope, speechless that strangers had given her and her family a lifeline.

“Lord knows we needed this,” she said, shaking her head in disbelief.

“I didn’t know this would happen. It’s not the reason I told my story. But I appreciate it so much.”

The Plaatjies was one of three families featured in a News24 series that put the spotlight on those who depend solely on government social grants.

At the time, Berenice explained how she tried to stretch the little money the family received to last a month: R500 for basic groceries and toiletries, R300 for electricity, and R120 for rent.

The only treat in their home is on birthdays, when Berenice pinches off a few rands to buy a cake.

'All I can say is thank you'

Offers streamed in to help Berenice.

Local and international readers made donations of between R50 and R2 500. One donor said the Plaatjies’ story reminded him of his own childhood. Another offered to bake a cake for each of their children’s birthdays.

One reader said her contribution should go towards buying little Zoe the doll she had seen and wanted at Shoprite.

Berenice was previously unable to buy it because she had more important expenses.


Zoe and her new doll (Supplied to News24)

The money would last her family a very long time, Berenice said.

“All I can say is thank you to each one who gave a contribution to all of this. After I have bought groceries and a small Easter bunny for the children, this money will only go towards necessities. It will never be wasted.”

Hilton now also has a contract job as an electrician and they are grateful for the extra income.

In total, more than R20 000 was raised for the featured grant recipients. The donations were distributed as specified by the individual donors.


Read more on:    sassa  |  cape town  |  social grants  |  good news

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Behind the sparkle

Alluring, beautiful and timeless - diamonds are some of the most sought after gems in the world and are a true testament of everlasting brilliance. Let us take you behind the sparkle to show you the history behind this coveted jewel.

Embracing sustainability in tobacco agriculture

In Sub-Saharan Africa, farming represents a subsistence lifestyle for millions of people. In recent years though, the development of farming into an economic activity has made a real change in how the land is used in providing for the population.

/Africa
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.