I will write to the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr. Blade Nzimande, to request that the approximately R2 billion not spent by the SETA’s last year, be diverted to assist in paying for the returning students. Additionally, I will write to Treasury to appeal for a special allocation to make up any shortfall to assist these students to continue their studies.
Students around the country are likely to be excluded from returning to university this year because the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) failed to complete the payment of their student fees at the end of last year. Already there are reports that 800 from Wits University will be unable to return to their studies due to a lack of funding from NSFAS.
These students are in a hopeless situation. They cannot receive their results because respective Universities have withheld them, awaiting payment. They cannot continue their studies elsewhere due to the lack of results and the student debt which now accrues to them. They cannot continue their studies as they do not have funding and cannot access any form of financial aid whilst possessing a debt to their university.
The R2 billion in unspent funds by the SETA’s originated from their inability to meet their objectives, such as training of artisans to which money was allocated but not spent.
When the R2 billion in unspent funds by SETA’s was brought to the attention of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee of Higher Education and Training, we urged the Minister to commit these funds to NSFAS. It is now time that the money is put to a better use.
The money could go a long way to supporting these students, who have already qualified for NSFAS funding, to finish their studies.
Chairperson of the Democratic Alliance Youth
Source : Democratic Alliance