The South African Students Congress (Sasco) is demanding the Department of Higher Education and Training intervene urgently, as some students who are eligible for free education have not received allowances for accommodation, transport, and meals.
More than 80% of first-time students at universities and Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) have reportedly not received allowances and have been left to fend for themselves.
Students are blaming poor administration at the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) which is responsible for distributing and disbursing the funds.
Acting Sasco secretary-general, Simphiwe Joja spoke to Africa Melane saying they want answers as to why students are not receiving their allowances.
Ever since the President has pronounced free education and he said it was set to start, we have not seen it cascading down to our students. We have been seeing cries from TVET colleges and historically disadvantaged collages like CPUT, UKZN - and all those historically black institutions are actually suffering. We don't know what is happening at NSFAS. They are claiming that students are not signing the agreements.— Simphiwe Joja, Acting Secretary-General of (Sasco)
Jojo says it seems unlikely that the students are unwilling to sign the agreements.
Our position is that it can't be that the very same students that are crying, saying that they haven't gotten their allowances, would be the very same student who then won't sign the agreement.— Simphiwe Joja, Acting Secretary-General of (Sasco)
Listen below to listen to the full interview: