The Thusangwanageno, help your brethren initiative is hoping to assist 900 students for the upcoming academic year.
Graduates who have benefitted from the initiative have been appealing for donations in various intersections across Pretoria, Nelspruit, Polokwane Rustenburg and Potchefstroom.
This year, over 700 students at various universities were assisted with registration and outstanding fees.
Speaking at the R80 intersection on Eskia Mphalele in Pretoria, the founder of the initiative, Dr. John Molepo, says the need for funding has increased drastically over the last few years which they are battling to meet.
“In our database, we have close to 40 000 students who are owing so it’s sad that we cannot achieve a portion of that 40 000. But we are saying, a smaller amount can make a difference. We work with all universities and colleges in South Africa. We prefer public instead of private institutions.”
In October, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said they have roped in the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to investigate students who are allegedly defrauding the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
Nzimande said about 35 000 students from different tertiary institutions are not eligible for NSFAS funding.
VIDEO: In August, The Watchdog spoke to NSFAS CEO Andile Nongogo on NSFAS corruption:
He defended the scheme saying these developments do not reflect failure on the part of the scheme.
Nzimande said, “By virtue of having picked up 35 000 students who were cheating it means that indeed NSFAS is functioning. Already NSFAS has discussions with the SIU. We welcomed the investigation by the SIU. And we hope that these investigations by the SIU will help us to prioritise those who funded and those who are actual defrauding NSFAS. The fact that there are these challenges does not deserve that NSFAS should therefore be regarded as a failure.”