Christmas came early for 363 clients at a PEP Stores branch in Mossel Bay, Western Cape.
An unknown benefactor paid R337 000 to the shop to pay off people’s lay-by items.
The man sent each of the people a note: “I am grateful that I’m [in a] position [to] settle your PEP Store lay-by. I know it’s up to people to help people. It’s just the decent thing for all of us to do, disregarding any religious beliefs. I also had lay-bys at PEP a long time ago.”
He signed the note “Grateful humanist”.
Kim Peterse said she got the news on Friday when she went to the store to cancel her lay-by.
She injured her back, and can no longer work.
Earlier this year, she picked out two dresses for herself and paid a R70 deposit.
As part of the lay-by agreement, she still owed R373.
“It was really painful for me to let the dresses go. The lay-by was the first time I was spoiling myself this year – because I always put my children first.”
Peterse did not want to believe it when a shop assistant told her that somebody had already paid.
“Ma’am, are you playing around? Do you take me for a fool? Is there a camera somewhere?” she said to the shop assistant.
Suzette Wessels, PEP Stores’ regional manager for the Outeniqua district, confirmed that the benefactor paid outstanding balances of between R10 and R1 300 for 363 clients.
Wessels said they were happy that this windfall meant their clients would be able to put something extra on the festive table this year.
The shop phoned clients to inform them to come and pick up their packages.