SA students love food, brands, booze

2012-04-08 19:45

Johannesburg - About R33bn will be spent by South African university, college and technikon students this year -  and 85% of it has nothing to do with textbooks.

Research conducted by youth marketing company Student Village and Unisa’s department of marketing and retail management has found that for most South African students, food is the main expense.

Researchers found that, on average, a tertiary student spends R3 268 a month - or about R39 216 every year.

There are about 850 000 tertiary students in the country. This is the second annual student spending report.

Researchers interviewed 1 220 students aged between 18 and 24, using both online questionnaires and conducting in-person interviews at five of the country’s biggest institutions.

The research was conducted in February and March this year and in that period, students had already bought more than 330 000 cellphones.

In the same period, 35 000 students had either bought cars or had cars bought for them. Other big expenses were travel and textbooks.


But lining their stomachs is by far students’ biggest priority. Researchers found that on average, students spend R712 each month on food, and about R500 on rent.

Women students spend 5% more on food and general groceries than their male counterparts.

Men, though, spent a staggering 200% more on contraceptives and 180% more on alcohol than female students.

The researchers, whose brief included trying to work out how important brands are to South African students, found that a range of factors influenced students in their spending habits.

Brands came out tops: the desire to own established brands was very important to the students surveyed. Friends, advertising and parents were also influential, the researchers found.

And the biggest source of income for South Africa’s students? Their parents.

Of those surveyed, 77% relied on Mum and Dad for their monthly allowance, while others worked part-time or dipped into bursary funding to pay their way.

  • nami.vuyo - 2012-04-08 10:29

    R500 on rent? there is something wrong in that calculation...severely wrong???

      veritas.odium.paret - 2012-04-08 21:51

      But still Mlungisi, an average represents more or less what most students would pay and I can tell you from my experiences that R500 is far too low for most leased buildings near universities. Even if rent had to be split by flat/room occupants, it'd take about 4 people paying approximately 500 to pay it and that wouldnt do since most are equipped for two. I agree with Nami, there's something wrong...

  • tshivhombelaf - 2012-04-08 12:13

    Most of the students are irresponsible. They sell their groceries so that the can party and indulge in unprotected sexual activities. We must have the way to address this, identifying the competent indigent students, orphans and informing parents of those who are awarded bursaries on merit but with the parents who can afford theirs tuition fees. These would help to prevent students from having a lot of money to spend on luxury.

      Grootrot - 2012-04-08 21:52

      The data may also say that condoms are more expensive than the pill. Your second sentence does not make sense. If a student parents give him or her a lot of money to spend, they may. These parents already pay for bursaries and are subsidising higher education via tax.

      spartanx93 - 2012-04-09 07:05

      its the african way!

  • George - 2012-04-08 20:31

    So guys buy booze for themselves and the girls, while girls use their money on other stuf that important to them..... interesting. I almost sound unfair to the guys, but heeey it is not the ladies fault that they are retarded

  • Lungile Rlm - 2012-04-08 20:33

    If 77% of students rely on der parents 4 der monthly income,wat is it dat de govermnt is doin so dat we can hv 77% or more students relying on bursaries nd @least NSFAS 4 der monthly income?

      Grootrot - 2012-04-08 21:55

      You did not get matric exemption? You should not with that inability to use English. If 77% of students rely on their parents it is not bursaries, bursaries are used by future employers to get good students to work for them or for the poor who cannot afford it.

      Lungile Rlm - 2012-04-09 06:59

      @Grootrot...As a country we can't be delighted that 77% of tertiary students rely on their parents for their monthly allowance.......If the figure(77%) was of students who depended on bursaries 4 their monthly allowance we would be elated. For me this simply means that companies offering bursaries are absorbing less students for funding or the basic education is not doing well 2 produce matriculants who meet the minimum requirements for getting a bursary.

      Francois - 2012-04-09 07:58

      Lungile, firstly a dramatic improve in your English although I think oom Grootrot was a bit harsh! It is not companies' responsibility to ensure that students get through university, they pay tax and their employees pay tax. Higher education should be a priority, but decent higher education where the students with their matric actually were able to pass at university. If rich parents want to send their children on world tours on to study at Oxford, Cambridge etc, it is up to them. The problem is basic edution. It is not a case that they are not doing well, they are beyond sleg. Get the basic education right, get flexibility in the labour market and it will go a lot better. I think we should be delighted that 77% of students depend on the parents and can rely of their parents for furthering their studies. Can you think what the impact would have been and what it would have said of society if it was the other way round? And 77% means that a lot of PDIs rely on their parents as well. University is a privilege and not a right - basic education is a right. What do you do about the lack of proper basic education?

      Lungile Rlm - 2012-04-09 11:01

      @..francois..I guess the reason my English seemed broken is the fact that I was using Social network text........When it comes to basic education I still think that the NCS pass mark should be increased to 50% because learners tend to aim for the pass mark which later affects them when it comes to getting entry to tertiary institutes..Currently mathematics & physical science pass rate overall in matric is below 50%......A lot still needs to be done....

  • sifisomashile - 2012-04-08 20:53

    these figures are scaring...

  • Brendan - 2012-04-08 21:39

    From the comments on this story seems like a couple university courses would go a long way.

  • Melanie - 2012-04-08 21:48

    faculties of economics and management sciences must introduce this module!! This reminds me when i was @ d varsity, i had money more than now when working. Students never go broke and they always have money...start is no more

  • Mike Purchase - 2012-04-08 21:50

    it must be crap to be crap unless you are too dim to realise it.

  • Thabo - 2012-04-08 21:53

    on booze?so does dat mean students may not be tasty n want 2 refresh like any oder human being whom when he or she feels tasty n den go get some booze or brands 2 refresh?so pls, try anoder research dis one is crab.

      Sag871218 - 2012-04-09 09:09

      Ahhh dude! Please tell what \tasty\ in this context means!

      Jacques - 2012-04-09 10:43

      I pray to God you're not at Varisty... Because if you are, you have your life set out pretty nicely. Bad literacy skills, deeply flawed logical reasoning and, you guessed it, the \previously disadvantaged\ tag. If you are offended by this comment, you are in deep denial.

      Jacques - 2012-04-09 10:52

      Oder human beings, indeed!

  • Frank - 2012-04-08 21:54

    Gee!! And I thought universities were for sex, drugs and rock and roll. Why buy textbooks if most matriculants can't read anyway. More fun rioting and burning down buildings.

  • Siya - 2012-04-08 22:32

    Wow students waste money after all

  • The-madKing - 2012-04-08 22:41

    this research is kinda flawed .. R 500 on rent is not possible.. but otherwise the findings are true .. booze is expensive thanks to the sin taxes and as for the contraceptives .. choice smells like crap so you gotta but something nice.. gotta being a student :)

      nkululekod1 - 2012-04-08 23:29

      True hey R500 on rent??come on I spend a lot of money on my rent than on my food well other true!

  • Nyiko Ngobeni - 2012-04-09 03:02

    What crap. Where does a student get 3 grand per month to blow? Anyone who has been to varsity knows this isn't true.

      spartanx93 - 2012-04-09 07:10

      They work....

      Wesley - 2012-04-09 17:27

      Nn you would'nt know, you get it for free, but it do cost appox R4000 per month to study, if you could read and understand you will see it said it cost approx R3000 to study. That is including everything, if news24 could change the site that we could draw pictures here, perhaps you will understand

  • lutando.ndamase - 2012-04-09 05:00

    Yes I agree. I am one of these student.

  • Bennie - 2012-04-09 08:17

    Beeing a Vaarsity student is truly a previlage , If you are able to pass your subjects , party like its the last, eating is cheating , and if it smiles kiss it. -- the best years of your life !!

  • Jacques - 2012-04-09 10:49

    This is true, I mean, McDonalds are making major money off us! Food, brand and booze right there (No1 buys that stuff sober). Although I would LOVE to know where you can spend 500 bucks on rent? Is that per week?

  • Vanuatu - 2012-04-09 11:37

    Nothing bt da truf...

  • Rockafella - 2012-04-09 13:11

    Spumelele thats just B.S... Amoungst which varsities was this research conducted...pure B.S i tell u only t rich kids afford 2 buy 2 pairs of jeans in one month... We talking brands here tats 4rm 1k- 2k ... Please stop feeding us rubbish news

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