Maties Wi-Fi and its accompanying Inetkey seems to be getting the students of Stellenbosch University (SU) all worked up. Maties Wi-Fi and Inet- key acts as a staple for many Stellen- bosch students, especially those staying in university residences. Students can load money easily and efficiently and thereby gain access to the SU Wi-Fi network. Some students, however, claim that irregularities are arising in the amounts of money that they pay for access to the internet. Savannah Snow, education student and Metanoia Residence house committee member, spoke of her three-year long experience with Inetkey: “In first year, I think I used R200 on Inetkey the whole year. I was on Facebook and Instagram and watching movies.
This year I think I’ve used R800 Inetkey. My Inetkey is not even open and I’ve used Inetkey.” When asked if she has ever thought about taking up a complaint regarding the irregularities in funds, Snow had this to say: “No, because I don’t think anything is going to happen. It costs money to log a complaint. It costs R120 to tell IT Hub your Inetkey has gone and if they find that you are wrong it costs double.”According to Yanga Tshelane, an employee from the IT Hub, the 2018 internet tariffs, have remained relatively the same over the past few years.
Students are currently being charged R0.02/MB: Monday – Friday from 08h00-23h59 and R0.01/MB: Monday – Friday from 00h00-07h59, as well as weekends.Lascelles Marais, a second-year international student commented: “It keeps getting more and more expensive. Stellenbosch is literally one of the only South African universities that charge its students for Wi-Fi. [sic] If we are paying over R30 000, R40 000 or R50 000 per year for our student fees they can at least give us that R1200 internet for free – why must we pay it as an additive?” University of Cape Town (UCT) third year, mechanical engineering student, Jessi Masters shares Marais’s sentiments:“I don’t understand how a university can charge for Wi-Fi. What happens if you are on a bursary or the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)?” Masters said.
Azraa Conrad, a bursary student and Metanoia House Committee member said: “Inetkey is a waste of time. I have used R1200 in the first semester. It is tough out here. I can’t even do assignments. Why do we not get Eduroam?” Imogen Clinton, a final year drama student further raises a question regarding Inetkey: “If they’re constantly increasing the price of it, the least they can do is increase the limit of our quota.” Clinton goes on to compare SU with Varsity College, where students are given a monthly capped internet and after having reached the limit are charged for the excess. When speaking with Tariq Khan, SRC communications officer, on the role of the SRC in working towards making Inetkey less of a financial burden on students he was unwilling to comment.
On Wednesday, 17 October, the SRC held their general meeting at Metanoia Residence. They discussed the Inetkey policy regarding the allocation of Inetkey to members of the SRC. A R50 per month proposal was voted in.This would apply to all members excluding the communications officer and marketing manager. This allocation is half the amount previously allocated to members of the SRC.
PHOTO: ZOË HUMAN