Sol Plaatje University to provide daily free lunch to students

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The management of Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley, Northern Cape, has decided to offer at least one free lunch meal daily to its students in response to recent protests.

Last week, students staged demonstrations, demanding that the university provide them with at least two free meals each day.

According to the students, their allowances from the National Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) are insufficient to cover all their meals, including breakfast, lunch, and supper.

Sol Plaatje University Spokesperson Kashini Maistry says the students’ request is not financially feasible for the university.

Maistry stated, “All students in university-owned/managed residences, irrespective of their funding status, will receive a daily lunch meal provided by the university. Students who receive a food allowance from NSFAS or other funders will use their monthly stipend to purchase additional daily meals. Unfunded and vulnerable students have access to the various food security and social relief programmes on campus to supplement their nutritional requirements.

Maistry has, however, warned the move by the university would come at a cost to the institution.

“The subsidisation of lunch meals for students residing in university-owned/managed accommodation will result in a R8.62 million deficit for the university in 2024.”

Sol Plaatje University | Discontinuation of catering services