Children School Bags
Photo Cred: Supplied | On File

The lay-by initiative is enabling compassionate South Africans to help struggling families purchase essential school items by contributing funds towards their outstanding balances.


Johannesburg, South Africa (07 January 2024) – Paying for someone’s lay-by leading up to the opening of schools was a concept that started going viral in January 2021 and the initiative assisted so many families, that year alone over R330,000 was paid off by kind South Africans who wanted to help parents in need.

And it is happening again in 2024. Various Good Things Guy readers have contacted us to ask us to remind South Africa how easy it is to give back and help a stranger this January.

The idea is to visit a local store (Pep, one of the very few retailers still providing lay-by options) and ask for a lay-by that contains school uniforms and supplies. You then pay for all or a portion of the lay-by. The customer is then notified their lay-by amount has been updated or paid in full. If it is paid in full, they are asked to come and collect their items.

“This morning I went to my nearest Pep store and spoke to the manager and she brought out a bag of 7-8-year-old school clothes and I paid for it. It was such a simple thing to do. I don’t know who it was for and they will never know who paid for it but it will make a difference to someone. I left feeling really emotional knowing that I helped someone. I would encourage people who can afford it to do this. It’s so easy and so special,” Sandi Martin Bradley shared with Good Things Guy.

A tragic reality is that many parents in South Africa have had to put school uniforms on lay-by – this has been done because money is incredibly tight at the moment.

Lay-by allows a person to purchase items they need and pay them off over a period. This method is a safer way to pay something off than to put it on credit. Not many stores allow lay-by these days, but Pep Stores still offer the service.

So if you want to help a mother clothe her child, that is the concept. You just pop into your local Pep (or other stores) and pay towards someone’s lay-by.

One mom from Paarl shared that someone had paid her lay-by in full. She had rushed to the store to get the uniforms she needed before everything sold out and not even a few hours later, she was called to be notified that her lay-by was ready for collection.

“I couldn’t believe it.. my year starts right with a big Blessing… to the person who did this, thank you very much, I know right that God will see you even more… there are still good people in the world” – *Audelle

You can also support your local charity by purchasing schooling items such as stationary, shoes, clothing, school bags, books or any school-related items.

It is that time of year when parents start to panic about how they will cover the costs of getting their children to school. If you have a donation drive, reach out via email to let us know.

*Name has been changed to ensure the family’s privacy.

Sources: Good Things Guy 
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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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