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DASO Nelson Mandela University announces plans to feed hungry students

By Afikile Lugunya - Sep 17, 2018
DASO Nelson Mandela University announces plans to feed hungry students

The Democratic Alliance Student Organisation (DASO) at the Nelson Mandela University, in Port Elizabeth, on Monday announced that it hopes to raise over R50 000 for 1000 food packs for hungry students at the university.

DASO said that the project, called the ‘Hungry minds campaign’ follows the National Students Financial Aids Scheme's (NSFAS) inability to provide all qualifying students with their allowances.

“Because of NSFAS's failure, students are going hungry and the DA, through this campaign, will help to alleviate it,” the organisation added.

Nelson Mandela University Student Representative Council (SRC) President candidate, Kwanda Jakalase, told reporters that there are many hungry students at the institution, who have been waiting for their NSFAS allowances since the start of the year and some since the beginning of the second semester.

He said that so far DASO has managed to raise R10 000 and hope to get more from business people around the Nelson Mandela Bay.

In just seven days after the launch of the Hungry Minds campaign, Kwanda said that about 340 students have applied to their website asking for assistance while there are 52 more, who want to volunteer to make the campaign a success.

He added that there are over thousands of students, who are experiencing NSFAS problems - either not receiving food allowance vouchers and some, who are told that their allowances could not be processed because they have missing documents, although the students say they sent through the documentation several times already.

Former Nelson Mandela University SRC president, Hlomela Bucwa, who is now a DA Eastern Cape Constituency Leader, said what is very critical for DASO is to no "leave anyone behind".

"I want to commend the work that has been done by Kwanda and his team. It takes a lot for students leaders, they sacrifice their time in order to help the next person and that is something that we must appreciate," she described.

She added that colleges like Port Elizabeth College and East Cape Midlands College will also benefit from the Hungry Minds campaign.

Kwanda said that the food parcels will be unpacked in October when it is a critical time for students as they study for their final 2018 examinations.

"No student should be left behind by NSFAS and we were there only ones that have been speaking about this issue and the campaign will extend over the next two weeks and we are hoping of raising about 1000 food packs for those NSFAS students," Kwanda said.