Res dining halls work similarly to shops, with one big exception. In dining halls students hand over their student cards and trust the staff to deduct the correct amount, but in the JAKE dining hall this might not have been the case. Formal complaints have been issued against the dining hall staff who allegedly deduct more from the student cards than required.
On Friday, August 21, Roxanne Huysamen bought a box of Smarties at the JAKE dining hall. She gave the till lady her student card, who typed in codes to deduct money as usual. “I saw the amount was R15 and thought that it was odd for a small box of Smarties to be R15, but I left it at that,” says Huysamen.
Ten minutes later, Huysamen’s friend, Catelyne van der Sluis, experienced the same problem. Huysamen then questioned the dining hall staff. When the staff went back on the records to check the balance, they found that a can of coke had also been subtracted.
The same thing allegedly happened to Van der Sluis. They discussed what had happened and decided to test the staff. Van der Sluis took a can of coke to the till, while her two friends were waiting behind the computer screen. Once again the coke can, an item of approximately R7, cost R15.
“I politely asked the staff to check the balances,” says Van der Sluis. The money for an additional 500ml bottle was also taken from her account. Van der Sluis explains how the staff didn’t believe her and that after this incident she and Huysamen can’t walk into the dining hall without being openly victimised and made fun of by the staff.
Van der Sluis and Huysamen both made a formal complaint to the JAKE dining hall management. However, Prof. Roelf Visser, Director of Residences and Peter Martin, Director of Food Services, are both still unaware of this incident.
Prof. Visser says that although this is possible, it should not be taking place. Mr. Martin adds if this does indeed happen, they need to be made aware immediately. “That staff member will be asked to leave right away,” says Martin.
This event has made res students more aware of the possibility of this form of theft.