Wits Services has made adjustments in the dining hall meal program due to the 0% increase on the price of meals this year.

Students who make use of Wits University’s dining hall services are now receiving less food due to the 0% increase on the price of meals for 2018.

This was confirmed by Operations Manager at Wits Services, Bontle Mogapi, who told Wits Vuvuzela that the amount of food has been reduced in line with the 0% increase imposed by the University. “For breakfast they [students] used to get four slices, they now only receive two slices. Instead of 175ml of yoghurt they only get 100ml. For lunch, we had an option of students taking fruit and bread, we have removed that option all together. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays students used to get fizzy drinks [340ml cans] for supper and that option has also been removed.”

According to Mogapi, the price of meals is currently R39,90 for nine breakfast items and R39,90 for eight lunch items. Mogapi added that the University discussed the matter with the All Residence Council (ARC) to find a compromise that can allow students to still have a nutritious daily meal for R39,90. “We spoke to the students, some of them were understanding and some were not, but we all know that the price of food has increased. We are trying, by all means, to make sure students can afford the meals.” Mogapi said.

Wits ARC chairperson, Thandeka Khosa, said a draft of the revised meal programme was presented to the ARC by the University last year in October, however, they were not part of the finalising process. “We came back to school this year and it was implemented,” she said. Khosa added that “It [the meal programme draft] did not have our input or inquire our [ARC] approval.”

Actuarial Sciences honours student, Bongani Motswedi, who eats at the dining hall daily said, “We don’t get fruit anymore and the portions are smaller. To me it makes a difference.” he said.

Third year, BSc student, *Siyanda Mkhize said the meal packs are conducive for students living in catering residences as they were unable to make food for themselves, “There are people like me who get hungry during the night and we use the bread and fruit as snacks because we live at catering residences,” he said.

*Not their real name.