FUNERAL PAYOUT FOR DUT’S REGISTERED STUDENTS
By: Zimasa Magudu
Every single Durban University Technology student qualifies for R10 000 funeral pay-out should they die while still registered.
In the event of death of a student, the Student Funeral Levy allows the family of the deceased student to receive a pay-out of R10, 000 from the university. The initial amount was R3000 after the merger of Technikon Natal and
ML Sultan Technikon which led to the university being Durban University of Technology. It was later reviewed in 2009 and in March 2010, it was then increased to R10 000.
Speaking to DUT Department of Student Governance Manager Malusi Nxumalo, he explained that the circumstances that lead to the death are irrelevant. Whether the student was at home during the holidays, in an accident or even sick, they are still eligible for the pay-out. If it is the fault of the university, parents can claim for litigation but the standard amount is still paid out.
“It is allocated merely to say that we may or may not know when our students pass away but what is critical is that we show some element of community enrichment to our students and their families,” said Nxumalo.
He further added that over and above taking care of the subsidy that is allocated to assist with funeral arrangements, his department together with the Student Representative Council (SRC), are responsible for the transportation of students to the funeral of the deceased student.
The SRC, in the event of death of a student convenes a memorial service along with the respective faculties or departments. SCR President Ayanda Ngidi also added that they also contribute half of the transportation fee from their budget allocation.
The person enlisted as the next of kin is required to provide the death certificate along with their banking details as well as the student card of the deceased student, the money is immediately deposited there-after said the SRC president.
“I don’t think that there have been any students whose families have not been paid out because students don’t know about this funeral levy,” Ngidi.
Samukelisiwe Nkomo, a third year Food Technology student said she did not know about the funeral levy but feels that it makes logical sense to implement such.
“It makes sense if you think about it. You have a lot of genuinely poor students who only survive on the little they get from NSFAS so this ensures that they have a dignified funeral at the very least but I doubt that all students are aware of this,” said Nkomo.
Nxumalo admitted that not enough was being done to promote such information but in the defence of the university, he said that those students who get deregistered do get the pay-out because their faculties refer them to the Student Governance Department where their families are notified about the student funeral levy.
“The only time students don’t get this amount is when their families do not notify the school because they are treated as dropout,” said Nxumalo.
The death of students also has financial implications on the university as the subsidy they get from the government is only paid out when the student graduates and not when the student is registered, hence the university also loses out financially.