18 August 2006

Pricey food too much to stomach

Food choice on upper campus has never been great and during the vac it gets worse. But the cost of buying food on campus seems to be getting higher.

I have noticed that vending machine food seems to have recently skyrocketed. A roll of XXX Mints costs R2 and a chocolate R5.

I just went to Café Quencha, one of the few places that stays open over the vac, to find that their small samoosas are R2.50 each.

While my salary does not seem to increase, petrol goes up and the very limited choice of food on campus goes up, too. With only 30 minutes for lunch, it is practically impossible to get off campus down to Rondebosch to get lunch.

Yes, I do bring sandwiches, but I am really tired of our on-site, outsourced food providers who provide lousy, oil drenched food at exorbitant prices.

What can be done? Who do I complain to?

Jonathan Ze'ev Hoffenberg
Student Recruitment and Orientation Officer
Faculty of Humanities

Properties and Services' Duke Metcalf (manager, estates and custodial services) replies:

Our policy with regards to the provision of (non-residence) food services has been, ever since we outsourced these services some 10 or so years back, not to interfere in the pricing structure of the products on sale. There is a fairly large number of outlets on campus selling a wide variety of products to staff and students. People are free to use whichever of these outlets they choose. My own experience is that the prices compare favourably to your main road operations.

The introduction this year of the very long six-week, mid-year vacation period has indeed had a huge negative effect on our traders, with many of the outdoor vendors closing down their operations to avoid running at a loss. The larger, indoor outlets such as Café Quencha, the Food Court, Café Nescafé, and the Glasshouse remained open, despite their (in the words of the manager of the Café Quencha) "not having made enough money to cover the rent that they have to pay the university". One of two extremely popular chicken burger outlets on the Jammie Steps also remained open, as did the Kaplan Centre, the UCT Club and outlets on the middle and health sciences campuses.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Please view the republishing articles page for more information.