RECENT hikes in fuel prices have adversely affected students’ ability to have lunch on campus. Last week saw the petrol price rise to a record all-time high of R9,60 a litre and students face the decision of either buying their favourite lunch at the Matrix or prioritising in filling up their tanks to get to campus.
“The more I eat, the less petrol I have, said Tshepo Malaka, a 3rd year BCom accounting student.
“Since the price increased I spend up to R450 every week on petrol, which is double the amount I would normally spend.
“I don’t mind walking to campus, but I’m forced to drive because I carry heavy textbooks.”
Mncedisi Mvelase, a politics honours student, said. “I can’t afford lunch anymore because I have to put extra money aside for fuel.
“It’s cheaper to bring food from home.”
Students also say there is limitation in accessing alternative transport and many would rather pay the high fuel prices and travel comfortably than switch to public transport. Zak Myeza, a 4th year electrical engineering student, said public transport is unreliable and he cannot use it as an alternative.
“Nowadays, buying food at lunch time is a luxury and for me I have to put aside the R60 I would normally use to buy food to top up petrol money because I cannot rely on buses and taxis,” he said.
For some students the petrol price increase does not necessarily affect their ability to buy food at lunch time, but they have to sacrifice other luxuries to keep their cars fuelled up enough for them to get to campus and back.
Liz Grieve, a 3rd year psychology student, said the fuel price increase does not really affect her ability to buy lunch on campus, but then she is unable to “go out” as often as she wants and buy shoes she likes because she has to put extra money aside from her allowance to fill up her tank weekly.