A hundred grannies were treated to breakfast and a shopping spree as part of the South African National Zakah Fund’s (SANZAF) Mandela centenary celebrations and their Operation Winter Warmth (OWW).
The golden girls, from the southern suburbs, Cape Flats and northern suburbs, had breakfast at Lentegeur civic centre on Wednesday August 8.
They then were surprised with vouchers of R1 000 each and taken to shop for clothing and accessories.
Nelson Mandela would have celebrated his centenary birthday on Wednesday July 18 and the Nelson Mandela Foundation had called on everyone to follow in Madiba’s footsteps, to “Be the Legacy”, sounding a call to action to society to act every day to meaningfully impact other people’s lives.
Volunteers, from Sanzaf offices in Retreat, Bridgetown and Mitchell’s Plain, helped the grandmothers fit on clothes and ensure that they got their money’s worth.
Allewia Mohamed, 69, from Alpine Park, usually receives a food parcel from Sanzaf but about two months ago, she got a call to attend a breakfast.
“I was worried because I had never been called by their offices before,” she said.
After the breakfast, when the women were told that they were going on a shopping spree Ms Mohamed burst into tears.
“It is all in Allah’s hands. I arrived at the hall worried but left with the surprise of my life,” she said.
She said most of her pension was spent on rent and food.
“There isn’t money for luxuries, like clothing,” she said.
Gadija van Balen, 87, from Manenberg, said usually she would have had to spend money on her grandchildren but this time it was for her.
“Today I am free. Today is for me alone,” she said.
Sanzaf volunteer Gadija Erasmus, from Sherwood Park, who helped Ms Van Balen, said it was a delight to see the look on the granny’s face.
“The first thing she put in her basket was a handbag,” she said.
The selected grandmothers were from Sanzaf’s database of those entitled to Zakah, which is a tax paid by Muslims to help those in need.
OWW is an annual national winter programme aimed at providing essential items to children, the aged and families in need.