AfriForum Youth succeeded in obtaining clarity from the Residence and Catering Services Department at the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University about the determination of food prices that are so high. The organisation also succeeded in ensuring that students are not subjected to a monopoly as far as catering services on the campus are concerned. This follows after AfriForum Youth launched a petition against high food prices at the NWU’s Potchefstroom Campus. Almost 600 students signed the snap petition against high food prices.
Willem de Klerk, the director of the department concerned, met with AfriForum Youth and the president of the Student Council, Chrisna Kraaij, to reply to AfriForum Youth’s questions and demands. The meeting revealed the following:
1) The Student Council does have a say in the processes of determining food prices.
2) The relevant department undertakes to launch various initiatives to make wholesome food of a high quality available to students at the lowest price.
3) As far as the issue of a possible monopoly on the campus is concerned, reference was made to the shopping centre, Cachet Park, which was established by the university in a bid to offer alternatives to students who do not want to have their meals at the PUK Student Centre.
According to Marcus Pawson, chairman of AfriForum Youth’s branch on the campus, the Residence and Catering Services Department was most accessible in dealing with the students’ queries and in its reaction to their demands “If students believe prices at the Student Centre (SC) are too high, they could now buy food from the various cafeterias where prices have been lowered to accommodate students in need of financial support,” Pawson said.
“AfriForum Youth’s campaign was a success because student concerns about the high food prices have been addressed. Students can now feel more at ease about the matter because we now know how prices are determined and we know that initiatives are launched to buy food and make it available to students at the lowest possible price,” Pawson said.
AfriForum Youth will be involved in the determination of food prices on an ongoing basis, and will ensure that students have enough alternatives in future and that they are involved in the process.