Higher Education Science and Innovation Minister Dr Blade Nzimande briefing media on his department's response to the Covid-19 pandemic at Ronnie Mamoepa Media Centre in Hatfield, Pretoria. Picture: Siyabulela Duda/GCIS
Higher Education Science and Innovation Minister Dr Blade Nzimande briefing media on his department's response to the Covid-19 pandemic at Ronnie Mamoepa Media Centre in Hatfield, Pretoria. Picture: Siyabulela Duda/GCIS

Blade Nzimande: 10GB data for NSFAS students for 3 months

By Vernon Pillay Time of article published May 23, 2020

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Cape Town - Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Dr Blade Nzimande has announced free data allocations for all students currently receiving NSFAS funding. 

Each student will receive 10GB daytime data and this will be subsidised by government from June to August.

Nzimande made the announcement while briefing the media on Saturday on the further measures his department is taking in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

He also announced the phased reopening of tertiary institutions across the country under level 3 lockdown, which President Cyril Ramaphosa has previously announced will be implemented from the end of May.

The minister said he had consulted with teacher unions, post-school training institutions and had also received advice from the South African Covid-19 task team.

Nzimande said that universities have created plans to ensure that campuses will begin to open and that these plans have been submitted to Cabinet, with costings, for implementation from  June 1

Nzimande explained that NSFAS students continue to receive funding from government. He also acknowledged that students need a large amount of data to achieve their studies. 

"We have successfully negotiated with (cellphone service provider) networks", said Nzimande, and allowing for data bundles to be made available to NSFAS students. 

He noted that funding will be reprioritised as a special Covid-response grant for higher education institutions.

Nzimande also said that government is working on developing a of a loan scheme, with the private sector, to assist middle income students.

Government will make sure that free digital content will  be made available specifically to TVET students.

"Students who don't have technology resources will have paper learning material delivered to them, based on each university's assessment", Nzimande said.

Government is committed to ensuring all NSFAS students have appropriate laptops, and this in some areas have already being rolled out, according to the minister.

* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak, visit IOL's special #Coronavirus page.

** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or visit sacoronavirus.co.za 

IOL

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