Everything from condoms to toothbrushes can be found at two new vending machines at Senate House and the FNB building on West Campus, though some students have criticised their high prices.
A pack of Disprin, which costs no more than R20 at your local supermarket, will cost you almost double,at R35, at the vending machine.
According to its operator,PharmaShop24, this is not a typical vending machine. It is specially designed to dispense health care products, and your daily medical essentials from A-Z at a simple push of a button.
When students were asked about their opinions about the vending machines, reactions varied.
“I think that these are awesome,” saidMpumelelo Tshabalala, 2nd year BA Law. “There are so many times where I have needed medication, like Panado for a headache, and I’ve had to hike around campus looking for some, this is going to be a huge help.”
Other students were only critical of the machine’s high prices. “I think the prices are way too high for me,” said Ismael Motsoeneng, 1st year BA. “Some prices were not too bad, but I’d rather go somewhere else.”
The company, PharmaShop24, has placed these machines at high traffic points at the university, aiming for high convenience.
PharmaShop24, says that concept and design can be found all over Europe, Japan, USA and now in South Africa.
Initially implemented at Shell service stations around the counter, the South African team has been actively modifying and adapting this concept since early 2012 to introduce it into universities.