Students worried over final NSFAS allowances
NSFAS allowances for November are said to be the last for 2020.
This was stated in an email which was sent to UKZN students. The email read “In the government gazette 43772 issued by the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Dr Blade Nzimande on 5 October 2020, it was indicated that NSFAS and DHET have not allocated or approved any funding for additional academic year. In view of the above NSFAS funded students are advised that the cycle 10 allowances, scheduled payments on 2 November 2020 will be the last payment for the 2020 academic year”.
When this email reached social media, it created chaos because many students were concerned, confused and did not know what was happening. Students from different institutions thought this email included all universities that had NSFAS funded students, they were concerned that they would not receive allowances in December or January since the academic year has been extended to early 2021.
Amanda Mngadi, UKZN student confirms that they are the ones who received this email, and this applies to their institution and not others.
“Yes we did receive this email there were talks that the SRC had sent a statement to request for our allowances to be extended even before the email came out, but apparently the matter is still being discussed so we honestly do not know what will happen going forward but the email is 100% legit,” she said.
A petition has been made pleading with higher education Minister, Nzimande to extend NSFAS allowances, even DUT students are supporting this movement because they feel that their NSFAS allowances are at risk as well.
Phumlani Dlamini, DUT student said, “I think that it is very unfair that NSFAS only pays for 10 months when the academic year will be ending around March of next year. Students are still going to be at residences and having assignments, yet they will not have any money. Some people really do depend on that money, “he said.
Dlamini added, that it is very tiring to have to fight for things every now and then. This is funding that is supposed to help us with school, now we are stressed about school, finances and a lot of other things. Finances should not be one of the things we are stressed about because they are the ones who extended the academic year.
Wongalethu Maquthu, DUT student expressed his thoughts on the matter.
“I think students need to be reasonable. We just recently had the Covid-19 pandemic which had a huge strain on the economy therefore, I think it is not reasonable for students to say that they want to be receiving allowances in December because there is not enough money. Government doesn’t have much money so I would say students need to be reasonable and realise that we are not the only people that government needs to look out for. There are other people’s interests as well,” said Maquthu