Masesi Tsotetsi 
Menlyn Park Shopping Centre together with UP, ran a Back to School Student Drive. TuksFM also participated in this drive to create awareness. On 7 February, TuksFM broadcasters Quintus Potgieter and Brendon Sabau from The Driveway, along with The Quintessential show broadcasted live in the mall’s Aviary Square. With the show running from 15:00 to 18:00, topics regarding textbook prices, improvised student meals (for example noodles and baked beans) and other student expenses (such as accommodation, transport, food, clothing and books) were discussed.

The Back to School Student Drive ran from 18 January to 11 February. Donations of clothing, stationery, non-perishable foods and toiletries were accepted.

Menlyn’s General Manager, Olive Ndebele, later joined the show to discuss the initiative. The drive aims to give back to the community of Pretoria and erase the stereotype of university students “having everything”. It also aims to ensure that students have a better experience at university than what some parents can provide. One of the main concerns regarding students is study materials. Textbooks are a great expense and students often resort to copying books, which is ultimately illegal as it interferes with copyright laws. As this is a crucial requirement for university, students are encouraged to donate or sell their textbooks as they progress to higher years of study.

The Menlyn team wants to ensure that the youth is considered and taken care of, as they are the future of the country. With the refurbishments of the shopping centre, students are greatly catered to as awareness is raised throughout the shopping centre. Ndebele said “it’s not just a shopping centre, it’s a lifestyle”. The Back to School Student Drive was officially launched in 2018, but will continue to grow and take place in years to come.


Image: Michael Ridge

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