Winter in South Africa can be challenging, especially for families facing financial pressures. As the colder days approach, families need to ensure they have the necessary winter essentials to keep their families warm, but this can often be a stretch. Lay-bys can offer some reprieve by allowing customers to access the items they need by paying off their accounts over a few months. However, this often means it can take up to 4 months before these lay-by customers can have their essential items in hand.

The Lay-by Buddy initiative embodies the spirit of paying it forward, encouraging any and everyone to extend a helping hand to those in need. No matter how small, every contribution towards the Lay-by Buddy Initiative can significantly impact someone’s life, making essential items accessible sooner than expected. All donations received are directed to settling outstanding lay-bys at PEP stores nationwide.

SMS vouchers are distributed to lay-by customers selected at random and are redeemable against their outstanding lay-by balance. The voucher value is enough to settle the outstanding lay-by account balance in full.

Imagine the sheer joy in realising you suddenly have the means to pay off your lay-by due to the generosity of a complete stranger? With heartfelt contributions from over 3,400 generous individuals, the Lay-by Buddy Initiative has amassed over R1.1 million. PEP has further bolstered this with a contribution of R1.5 million, resulting in immense relief for more than 46,200 customers since its inception. These combined efforts are a testament to the power of community and kindness.

We understand the challenges many families face, especially when it comes to accessing basic necessities,” says Beyers van der Merwe, PEP’s Chief Executive for Marketing “The Lay-by Buddy Initiative was born 4 years ago from a deep understanding that we are all connected and have a responsibility to uplift one another. It’s about fostering a sense of community and reminding each other that even small acts of kindness can have a ripple effect.

In a country where financial hardship is a reality for many, the continued commitment to uplifting communities through small acts of kindness lies at the heart of this initiative. Together, we can make this Winter a bit warmer for everyone. Become a Lay-by Buddy today.