In a bid to encourage financially struggling prospective students in the Eastern Cape to apply for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), the Buffalo City Metro has embarked on a programme to assist students to ensure they meet the deadline.
The metro is providing access to laptops, the internet and photocopy machines to use to apply.
The metro says it is concerned about the high number of youth who struggle to access higher learning institutions.
Applications for funding close on Friday and this is what prospective students had to say.
“My problem with NSFAS is that last year I got rejected due to SARS not clearing some of my mom’s things after she stopped working. My problem this year is that logging into the [NSFAS] portal has been a mission and that when you log on eventually, you do not see your status. So you do not know where your application is standing.”
“The reason why I am here is because I want to know more about NSFAS so that I could help the upcoming ones,” adds another prospective student.
Buffalo City Metro Deputy Mayor, Princess Faku, says they are committed to continuing with similar programmes to uplift the youth.
“We started this initiative to make sure that we gather all stakeholders here today to make sure that there is access of information to young people. Apply for NSFAS … on the 7th it is the final day of the deadline. Sometimes they go to these institutions and apply but they would struggle to get certified copies of ID [and] proof of address.”
“So we have requested SAPS to be here today, NSFAS to be here, we wanted to make sure when they need all these services all these stakeholders are present here today,” she says.
The video below is reporting on the campaign to ensure that qualifying NSFAS students get the chance to apply for funding:
In November 2021, NSFAS said it is expecting a shortfall of about R10 billion in its student funding for the 2022 academic year.
NSFAS has cited various factors for this including the COVID-19 pandemic and the expected increase of student enrolments in tertiary institutions.