NSFAS applications 2024

Cape Town NSFAS funded students in a march to Parliament. Image: Facebook/Sheldon Sello

NSFAS students march to parliament

Cape Town’s NSFAS students had a march to parliament, to express their disapproval with the scheme’s new direct funding arrangement.

NSFAS applications 2024

Cape Town NSFAS funded students in a march to Parliament. Image: Facebook/Sheldon Sello

University students protested the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) at Parliament in Cape Town yesterday.

Students at Cape Town’s three I are requesting that tuition, food, and housing allowances be granted to the schools where they are enrolled rather than being disbursed by commercial financial providers.

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The SRCs of Stellenbosch University, the University of the Western Cape (UWC), and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) led those who were protesting.

What were NSFAS students protesting about?

Last month, beneficiaries at universities and TVET institutes began collecting their stipend via the NSFAS bank card. Students used to receive their allowances straight from their educational institution. However, students claimed that the system had flaws and that many of them had not received their allowances. Others claimed they had lately been booted from the financial help scheme, and that their efforts to appeal had gone ignored.

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Groudup reported, as they marched from Hanover Street to Parliament, they held signs that read, “Blade, we are hungry” and “Too valuable to protest but not enough to fund.”

What response did the get?

Tebogo Letsie, Member of Parliament, and Marcia Socikwa, Deputy Director-General for Higher Education and Training, signed the memorandum. The students also sent a petition with over 1,600 signatures demanding that the new payment scheme be repealed.
Letsie stated that the Parliament’s higher education portfolio committee was “also concerned about some of the issues raised about NSFAS.”

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“I agree with people who claim it’s almost the end of the year and their appeals have still not been responded to. We went to NSFAS last Thursday and enquired what they were up to. How can they expect students to be denied allowances to study and write exams while also failing to reply to their appeals?,” he said.

He also stated that MPs will request a full report from NSFAS on how decisions on which students would no longer be funded were made. Parliament has also requested a report on the direct payment scheme from NSFAS.

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