A new writing service company named Real Source that produces student assignments starting from R30 per page has received some criticism.
Real Source operates at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and other local campuses, although it has not been formally authorised by any academic institutions.
The start-up's operational boss Jonas Maepa, a UCT alumni, has defended his business which he claims only offers models for academic papers.
We are not affiliated with UCT. We are a private start-up. I myself am an alumni at the institution.— Jonas Maepa, Head of Operations - Real Source
The service is said to provide originally-crafted papers, but student clients are encouraged to paraphrase the model assignments before submission.
Maepa insists that the service does not promote unethical behaviour or academic dishonesty but rather supports education through modelling.
We provide assignment drafts. It's an example to be used as a guide to develop your own paper.— Jonas Maepa, Head of Operations - Real Source
Real Source as company holds a non-plagiarism policy.— Jonas Maepa, Head of Operations - Real Source
He says the aim is to help reduce the burden on the shoulders of students who face language barriers, struggles with academic writing and other challenges.
He also adds that his business has been a great opportunity for unemployed graduates to use their knowledge and earn an income as freelance writers.
Listen to the discussion on The John Maytham Show: