Minister of Higher Education Science and Technology Blade Nzimande says the government has set aside about R47 billion for the National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
Nzimande says they are also in talks with the financial sector to help needy students with tuition fees in the form of a loan.
The funds are set to assist more than 700 000 students, said Nzimande who was speaking to the media during a DHET academic in Lamontville, south of Durban.
The minister says it is encouraged by the level of commitment and engagement between management and the Student Representative Councils (SRC) to resolve all outstanding challenges facing students.
“The government has taken drastic measures to ensure that students from working-class and poor households are assisted with NSFAS. This year the government will fork out almost R47 billion from NSFAS to assist students from poor backgrounds,” says Nzimande.
“On top of that, since the beginning of the year we have done a lot as the department, we have engaged university management. Student leaders nationally and registrars to ensure that there is a good working relationship with different stakeholders,” he added.
Nzimande said “The government’s programme targets certain people. Not everybody qualifies for a social grant, not everybody qualifies for housing assistance from the government. In higher education, it’s the same. We only have up to a particular limit but we are aware of those students who are struggling. I can’t guarantee that they won’t go on strike.”
I am pleased that we will be funding all eligible @myNSFAS applicants who have been admitted for funded programmes in our public colleges and universities.
— Minister Blade Nzimande (@DrBladeNzimande) February 7, 2022
NSFAS is attending the Ministerial Academic Day hosted by Minister Dr Blade Nzimande at the St Simon Of Cyrene Anglican Church in Lamontville, KZN. The event is aimed at sharing higher education and training funding opportunities with unemployed graduates and matriculants. pic.twitter.com/6dh07tkwpY
— NSFAS (@myNSFAS) February 13, 2022