University students marched to Parliament in Cape Town yesterday to protest against the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
Students from the three universities in Cape Town are demanding that allowances for tuition, meals and accommodation be allocated to the institutions they’re registered at and not be disbursed by private financial providers.
The protesters were led by the SRC’s of Stellenbosch University, University of the Western Cape (UWC) and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).
Students are also unhappy about the cap on accommodation fees.
The students say they are protesting over alleged shortfalls and inadequacies in the current NSFAS system.
They claim the new system does not allow for them to be paid their full allowances and that it’s both tedious and cumbersome.
This is what some of them had to say.
“Another issue we are having – there are rejected students and there are also those ones that appeal that are affected by the issue of eviction which is a delay by the same NSFAS that we are talking about. The gist and the core of everything is lying with NSFAS. When you get your payment, R12 is gone already just for receiving the money and then to transfer the money into your account is R20.”
Students also picketed outside Hanover Square in the city centre.
Ludwe Ndelele, one student leaders that had organised the protest, elaborates.
“We are here today at these various institutions to demonstrate our pain that the students are undergoing which is NSFAS. They have introduced some new companies of some sort, eZaga. They are appointed for them to distribute the money to the students.”
A member of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Tebogo Letsie, accepted the memorandum of grievances from the students.
He says the board has decided to put NSFAS Chief Executive, Andile Nongogo, on special leave…
“We want NSFAS to come and explain to us how they have arrived at certain decisions in order to track their annual performance plans (and to see if they) are they on track in terms of spending the money that we are giving to them.”
The march dispersed peacefully.
In the video below, South African Union of Students Spokesperson, Asive Dlanjwa, elaborates on the march:
Original Story by www.sabcnews.com