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NSFAS Allowance Protests Lead To Suspension Of Students



NSFAS Allowance Protests Lead To Suspension Of Students

After not receiving their NSFAS allowances as promised, students have protested. Some students were suspended as a result of this protest action.

NSFAS Allowance Protests Lead To Suspension Of Students

As a result of protests over unpaid NSFAS allowances, the South African Union of Students (SAUS) has condemned the suspension of Sefako Makgatho University’s SRC president and secretary general.

Around 250 students from SMU have been attending classes since the second week of January without receiving any NSFAS allowances.Some of these students have even travelled from Gauteng to the Western Cape to visit NSFAS offices several times.Students generally believe that NSFAS and the university are playing a blame game.

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A spokesperson for SMU university said the university spent as much as R40 million to cover the shortfall. It was not enough to cover all the students in need, however.ASIVE DLANJWA, a spokesperson for SAUS, says the problem exists due to the Department of Higher Education not being able to run the sector in a way that ensures coherence between NSFAS, the institutions, and the department.

The slow response and inability to resolve the issue have led to student protests, as many students lack food and shelter, which are basic human rights.As a result of these protests, SMU’s SRC’s president and secretary general have been suspended.According to Dlanjwa, the suspensions were intended to intimidate protesting students, but instead left them without leaders.According to him, only the students were beaten by the private security at the institution during the protest.

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SAUS has contacted both the university and NSFAS with hopes of having an urgent meeting to resolve the issue at hand, according to Dlanjwa. Since then, the university has confirmed that the suspended students will be reinstated and will not be expelled.

In most cases, the accommodation issue has been resolved, particularly for those students who resided inside the institution. According to Dlanjwa, students who live in private housing will now face a challenge.

In order to resolve the issue of students not receiving NSFAS allowances for accommodation and food, SAUS will continue to work with the institution, the department, and NSFAS.

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