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VIDEO: PE College student protest over NSFAS funding enters third day

By Puleng Mkobuwa - May 10, 2017
VIDEO: PE College student protest over NSFAS funding enters third day

A protest by students at the PE College's Russell Campus in Port Elizabeth entered its third day on Wednesday with scores of students blocking off traffic and access to the college.

Speaking to RNEWS, the students said that they decided to embark on the strike after hearing that they will now only receive 25% of their National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) bursaries from the school.

They said they previously received 75% of their bursaries and asked why the allocations are changing this year.

The students claimed that the school received R40 Million from NSFAS and R35 million of it was allocated to the students' tuition.

The remaining R5 million now has to be divided amongst the college's three campuses - Russell Road, Dawa and Qhayiya, which means then that they are now going to only receive 25% of their bursaries. 

Zoleka Msuthu Sakuba, a student at the college, said that students doing National Qualifications Level 2 and N4 were told that they were not going to receive any funding. 

“When we calculate the 25% its not enough; we found out that bus fare money alone amounts to R980 for the whole year. And we are approaching exams now, but we have not received any money,” said Zoleka.

“We sat with the school’s management on Monday, but they do not want to increase the 25% percent saying that there is not enough money.

"Also on Tuesday, the management sat with the Student Representative Council (SRC) and two other students, but the meeting was unfruitful.”

She also said that they are demanding a mass meeting with the school’s management, its finance officer and NSFAS management to explain to them why they will be given 25% instead of their usual 75%.  

Until they are heard, the strike is on-going, shouted the students.