Education students gatvol over food

Education  campus students still don’t have enough choice for food options, despite having raised the issue with Vice Chancellor Adam Habib at the Town Hall meeting in June last year.

During last year’s Town Hall meetings on Main campus and Education campus, students were able to raise their concerns with Habib in a public forum

Lack of food outlets

At the Education campus Town Hall, former ECS (Education School Council) vice president Njabulo Mkhize raised his concerns about the inadequate food options on the campus. Olives and Plates is the only food outlet available on Education campus. The students find the restaurant expensive.

Mkize told the VC that students could not afford to purchase food at the café because the prices were very high. His concern was that the students had absolutely no other option to get food other than Olives and Plates.

.[pullquote align=”right”]“He even said that having seen the quotes for Olives and Plates, he had decided to cut down on food expenses for staff functions,” [/pullquote]

At the Town Hall meeting Habib was said to have acknowledged this was a legitimate concern.“He even said that having seen the quotes for Olives and Plates, he had decided to cut down on food expenses for staff functions,”said Mkize

What the students have to say

Students on education canpus opt to bring packed lunches to campus as they feel the food from Olives and plates is too expensive.

Students on education canpus opt to bring packed lunches to campus as they feel the food from Olives and plates is too expensive.

Having served on the ESC for two years, Mkize said he was aware that there are students who could not afford to buy food from Olives and Plates.During lunch break, students grouped together at various spots at campus, most eating their packed lunches. Many also had polystyrene boxes of slap chips, the most affordable item on offer from Olives and Plates.

[pullquote]“You get a burger here for R22 and it doesn’t have chips, but on Main campus a meal is R25,” [/pullquote]

Two fourth year students, Zama Khumalo and Anna Lekata, sat outside Olives and Plates eating their lunch – a Butcher’s Grill meal that they had got from Main campus. “You get a burger here for R22 and it doesn’t have chips, but on Main campus a meal is R25,” said Khumalo.

Khumalo and Lekata had left at 11am to come to Main campus because they had no classes to attend. The two said they would have been late for classes in the afternoon had they not been able to leave early.

Ami Sonnenburg, 2nd year BEd, said she always brought lunch from home because she was Jewish, only ate kosher food and Olives and Plates did not provide that option. She added that she disliked buying food from Main campus,“The food at the matrix is disgusting and the matrix is filthy”.

A group of students studying a PGCE said that they had noticed a big difference in a availability of food variety since they left Main campus.“We don’t actually buy food, we just buy snacks,” said Daniella Regal. Mutshutshudzi Tshikule, secretary of the ESC, told Wits Vuvuzela that nothing had been done about most of the issues that were raised at the Town Hall forum.

Alongside the food issue, students had raised concerns about the high international upfront payment fees.

West Campus food prices slammed by students

THE NEW West Campus food stalls came under the spotlight this week following student complaints of high prices.

Witsies took to Twitter to express their dissatisfaction with the high food prices at the stalls. Many students still walk to the Matrix on East Campus to buy food, where stalls are said to be reasonably priced.

Chip ‘n Dip and Macaronis opened at the beginning of term as additions to Maya’s and the Tower on West Campus. This makes for only a handful of food suppliers on West Campus compared to the variety of stalls available at the Matrix.

Some students have had to reduce the number of times they buy food on campus. Noluntu, (3rd yr. BComm) said she only bought food at the stalls a few times a week. “The prices are too high, where will I get the money from?” she said. Ndalamo,  (2nd year LLB), said: “they have great food we want to buy, but they must also remember that we are students.”

Corradetti Rino, manager at Macaronis, said that he had not received any complaints about prices since the opening of the stall. Rino acknowledged the difference in prices between his stall and many others on East Campus but said this was because his stall offered original Italian food not found anywhere else on campus.

“I’m very happy to bring bits of culture from Italy to South Africa,” he said. Another concern was the lack of variety in food sorts on West Campus.

Many students felt that more stalls needed to supply Halaal certified foods and even suggested introducing a Seven Eleven stall.

But a campus price comparison revealed that the cheapest prices are not exclusive to East Campus stalls.  Prices tend to fluctuate based on the food type being sold.

This survey of smaller more popular foods sold on both campuses revealed West Campus to have more reasonable food prices than students claim.

A simple comparison of some popular items At Wits shows that East campus prices are higher in some instances. Graphic: Dinesh Balliah

A simple comparison of some popular items at Wits shows that East campus prices are higher in some instances. Graphic: Dinesh Balliah