CAPE TOWN - Students have been left outraged by what they called “anti-poor” National Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) 2022 proposed funding guidelines, that suggest decreasing accommodation allowance, and upping the pass rate to 75%.
The student financial aid further proposed that where a student has changed their qualification and the remaining credits are not sufficient to complete the different qualification, the student will no longer receive financial aid.
NSFAS presented the draft document “NSFAS Eligibility Criteria and Conditions for Financial Aid Policy Standard” on Monday to the South African Union of Students (SAUS) and student representatives councils from across the country.
Under the category of university allowances, the guidelines further mentions that accommodation managed and catered by university will be capped at R33 000 per annum.
Saus has since rejected the proposals which are expected to be effective as of the 2022 academic year “unless stipulated otherwise”.
Saus spokesperson Asive Dlanjwa said the final guidelines were to be published after a meeting with stakeholders convened by the student union.
“We must categorically state that the proposed guidelines as they were presented by NSFAS were rejected by the union. As a result the union resolved that all SRC’s must make their own submissions to the Secretary General of Saus and the union will consolidate the report and reconvene all stakeholders and engage on the guidelines.”
EFF Student Command national spokesperson Xola Mehlomakulu said the student body found the proposed guidelines to be anti-poor and anti-working class.
“To decrease accommodation allowance and not to raise food allowances in line with inflation will not only leave many students homeless but will also leave them hungry and disadvantaged during their academic progress.”
Mehlomakulu said the proposed and revised credit rule will also have many students rejected from access to funding and consequently contribute to a high dropout rate and unemployment rate.
The organisation said that they will monitor the developments with regard to the proposal while they continue to consolidate the “ground towards socialist power.”
“All the branches of the EFF Students Command are combat ready to take our demands to the streets and ensure meal allowances, accommodation and transport allowance are significantly increased, that the N+2 rule is scraped and that a feeding scheme and provision of Free Sanitary towels are introduced in all campuses as a matter of urgency,” said Mehlomakulu.
NSFAS did not respond to additional questions by deadline on Wednesday.