Following the Hoërskool Driehoek tragedy in the beginning of February 2019, Jacaranda FM’s Breakfast with Martin Bester asked their listeners to help the victims and their families. The response was overwhelming: To date, listeners and GMA have donated more than R1.5 million to this cause.
Schools were the first to add their weight: Hoërskool Waterkloof contributed R65 000 on the morning of the Jacaranda FM My School Rocks live broadcast from the school. This inspired other schools – like Hoërskool Kanonkop in Middelburg, Cambridge Academy in Witbank, Constantia Kloof Primêr and Shangri La Academy in Kempton Park, to name a few – to also join the fray, with donations ranging between R6000 and R15 500.
Businesses and churches also joined in: Wimpy South Africa donated R100 000 to the cause. Lekkeslaap.co.za sponsored seven nights’ accommodation in a top-class Pretoria B&B for Charmaine and Cobus Steynvaart when Shamoné was transferred from the Life Wilgers Hospital to the rehab center, where she will be for up to 12 weeks. Accommodation for the rest of this rehab period will be sponsored by a local church.
Listener “Kobus” and his team will renovate Shamoné’s gran’s home – which they own – to accommodate Shamoné’s new mobility reality. They will team up with Häfele South Africa, who will supply the correct fixtures in the bathroom and around the home to assist Shamoné. Another company, R&H Projects, will install a brand new air conditioner for Shamoné as part of the renovation. The team has already visited the house, drawn up the plans and will start the renovation soon to have everything ready for Shamoné’s return.
Charmaine and Kobus live just across the road from Gran and their landlord has also offered to alter their rented flat to accommodate Shamoné’s wheelchair needs.
Another listener, Wiekus Pretorius, who lost his left eye in a freak accident 36 years ago, pledged to pay R5000 per month to Shamoné for the next 10 years – a total of R600 000. A further anonymous donation of R 50 000,00 has also been paid into Charmaine’s account.
In addition, 116 further payments – ranging from R50 to R100 000 – have been received and paid over to date by Jacaranda FM’s Good Morning Angels to the Hoërskool Driehoek Family Aid Fund, totalling R378 500.
Martin and the team also confirmed that, although they are still in talks with the listener who pledged R500K to Hoërskool Driehoek and R200K to the Steynvaart family, the Jacaranda FM Good Morning Angels team made sure that the family received much more assistance than what was initially pledged. Good Morning Angels also committed to paying the R500 000 that was pledged to the Driehoek Fund, regardless of whether the donation is actually received, bringing the total contribution to the family fund by Jacaranda FM listeners and Good Morning Angels to R878 500,00.
Klippies Kritzinger from the Hoërskool Driehoek Family Aid Fund who, along with an independent panel, manages the allocation of funds also joined Martin and the team in studio. This fund was set up to cover essential expenses and is currently focused on accommodation for parents to support their children, unpaid leave for those who can’t be at work because they are caring for their kids, fuel costs and, of course, substantial medical costs not covered by medical aid or the authorities.
An emotional Kritzinger said: “I have received calls from all over South Africa to help. The total amount that has been paid over into this fund equals over R2 million. Big amounts came in, but what really stood out for me is the R100 donations. We must have respect for these individuals who maybe gave us their last R100 to help and make sure that these funds are used responsibly.”
According to Martin Bester, the host of Jacaranda FM’s Breakfast with Martin Bester: “One can’t be anything but overwhelmed by the heart of South Africans to jump in in times of need. I maintain that we have the most generous and giving listeners in the country. From the smallest donation to the biggest, each of you made a life-giving difference and we, along with the staff, parents and learners of Hoërskool Driehoek, thank you from the bottom of our hearts!