South African Union of Students (SAUS) has reported that over 70 000 students have not received their National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) allowances since the end of May up until now.
SAUS national spokesperson Asive Dlanjwa says students are busy with their end-of-year exams and are left completely helpless, adding that NSFAS was supposed to open 2024 applications on 1 October but has not done so.
“We got thousands of students whom their appeals still have not been responded to since February. All these students are expected to write exams right now. As they are writing their final examinations … they are homeless, they do not have food, they do not have their sanitary products, they do not have toiletries and all other necessities for them to be able to engage effectively in their academic requirements.”
“[We are] calling on the minister [Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande] to act within the next seven days. We have listed our demands, and failure to do so, we’re going to write to the President [Cyril Ramaphosa] and lobby all other organisations, political [parties] and civil [organisations] for the minister to be removed. Because it will be clear that the minister is failing the sector.”
NSFAS apologises to all students who could not receive their allowances on time