SAUS threatens to march against NSFAS defunding processes

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The South African Union of Students has threatened to march to the Department of Higher Education. That’s if the Department fails to respond to their demands to resolve issues around National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) defunding processes.

This comes after thousands of students from different universities were defunded by NSFAS. The scheme says it’s withdrawing funding from “undeserving students.

The union has threatened to take to the streets if the Department of Higher Education does not come on board. Yikumba Andreas, the SRC president for North West University explains.

“We will make our ways either to Union Buildings or the Department of Higher Education tomorrow then the SRC that is present there will go and tell the minister to respond to that letter and if we do not receive any response by latest Wednesday next week we will then unfortunately then have to hit the streets. We will have to come here in Pretoria and march to the Department of higher Education building and march to the Union Buildings in order to make sure that this receive equal attention it deserves.”

Over 800 students at the North West University’s Mahikeng campus have been defunded. They say this puts their future at risk.

“They funded me for the first six months when I went back home for recess I got an sms saying I am temporarily removed from fees. So I did not get my allowance because of my academic eligibility,” a student elaborates.

“I was funded by NSFAS this year. I received POR after that I got message but the message was not saying I am defunded or it said I must just lock into my portal and check my status only to find out that I am rejected,” another student explains.

VIDEO:40 000 students illegally benefiting from NSFAS: SIU

In the meantime, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Student Command at the campus started a campaign called “fund the defunded” which seeks to solicit donations for the affected student.

Nonetheless, NSFAS says its intention is to clean the system following the SIU report that some students were wrongfully funded.

“The whole intention was to make sure that deserving students get the opportunity to be funded through their education without allowing fraudulent applicants to get through the system. But we have taken unprecedented steps to make sure that when new application window opens we do not have huddles in terms of ensuring that only qualifying and deserving students get funding,” Spokesperson for NSFAS, Sphumezi Sikhosana elaborates.

Students who initially qualified for NSFAS funding are also questioning the approach used by the scheme to record them as underserving.

NSFAS defunds non-qualifying students: