NSFAS news Today 8th March 2023
In todays latest NSFAS News – In recent weeks, student protests have broken out at a number of public colleges over issues such as accommodation, tuition blocks, academic and financial exclusions.
Several students have been displaced because the National Student Financial Aid System (NSFAS) decided to limit housing subsidies to R45,000 each academic year.
They argue that the high costs of living and housing in different parts of the country make it impossible to meet the new allowance restrictions.
As a result, some schools have reached a crisis point where students have no choice but to sleep on campus or in classrooms because they cannot afford off-campus accommodation.
Last week, Universities South Africa (USAf) met with Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande to discuss student concerns. Topics included the NSFAS R45 000 cap for student housing.
The DHET, USAf, and vice-chancellors agreed to form a group to investigate potential solutions to the ceiling.
Furthermore, Nzimande states, “The implementation of the cap must take into consideration contradicting circumstances, such as pricing collusion, varied expenses of living, and unaccredited lodging.”
In doing so, we must consider a number of conflicting facts affecting the implementation of the R45,000 cap, including, but not limited to, evidence of price collusion by landlords to profiteering, the realities of differentiated costs of living in various localities where NSFAS students have to find accommodation, and the continued existence of unaccredited accommodation establishments that endanger the affordability and safety of student accommodation.
Meanwhile, the South African Union of Students (Saus) has stated that it was clear that appropriate housing could be found with the specified allowance cap based on their assessment of the student accommodation environment and several other considerations.
Nonetheless, the union brought up their worries about collaboration between university officials and private student accommodation service providers, who increase the price of student housing for NSFAS recipients.
Paying ludicrous and expensive accommodation rates to vicious parasites who want enrichment from a government social initiative is wrong, as it goes against one of our revolutionary mandates: increasing access to higher education.
“We have asked on the Department and NSFAS to engage with universities, that once all is said and done, not one NSFAS student should sleep outside, they must for the millions we pay them annually for wages derive a speedy and workable solution,” the Union concludes.
Nzimande stated this week will be the committee’s meeting week to discuss individual situations and workable solutions to the present student housing crisis.