Ricochet News

'NSFAS must account for Nelson Mandela University student funding crisis'

May 4, 2018
'NSFAS must account for Nelson Mandela University student funding crisis'

The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Friday said that it will write once again to the Higher Education and Training Portfolio Committee Chairperson, Cornelia September, requesting her to urgently summon the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to explain why thousands of students have still not received funding.

"We have already written once to Ms September but no definite response has been received, while ANC members of the Committee were actually adamantly against having NSFAS appear," said Belinda Bozzoli MP - DA Shadow Minister of Higher Education and Training.

"The Nelson Mandela University and other colleges have been shut down, allegedly since Wednesday, as a result of being unable to buy food, supplies, or pay rent. Protests are likely to escalate.

"Students are disappointed and frustrated by ANC promises of a new fee-free model having failed to materialise due to a lack of payment."

Bozzoli said that when President Zuma suddenly promised fee-free Higher Education in December last year he totally failed to take into account that this would be difficult to implement immediately.

"The Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor, is aware of this crisis and has herself expressed frustration at its continuation right into the middle of the year. But so far, little movement has been made in improving the situation," she added.

"NSFAS should come to Parliament in the coming week, and explain to the public what it intends to do to address, as quickly as possible, this crisis."

The South African Students Congress (SASCO) at the Nelson Mandela University on Thursday gave the Nelson Mandela University 48 hours to respond to its memorandum of demands and also marched on the City Hall to engage Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, on Friday.