Unisa students have been complaining about their NSFAS allowances not being paid with some saying that they are now left starving. Students are seeing delays in their allowances arriving in their bank accounts as well.
One student even said he was surviving on just water.
Last week, Unisa stated that they have started releasing allowances:
NSFAS returning students will start receiving their allowances this afternoon (12 May 2021). Allowances will be disbursed in batches (15 000 per day) until Wednesday 19 May 2021.
The University also made the following clear: "The allowances for new students will only be disbursed once NSFAS finalises the approved list."
On student complaint's and the effects of allowance delays, Unisa's Vice-Chancellor, Puleng LenkaBula, said:
I truly regret that the situation of our students is disabling for their fully optimum functioning of students ... We admit 160 000 students who are supported by the national financial aid system. What that translates to is the fact that they either come from families where a combined income may be less than R325 000 so it is quite something that society must understand that Unisa is actually a partner to society in enabling students through knowledge.
The VC continued to explain that there are also additional students who are get funding through the Department of Education
"Given that we are a comprehensive, open distance elearning University, sometimes we interact with our students in terms of the provision of academic support unlike the contact Universities and therefore issues of hunger, issues of marginality, become quite the current areas that we mediate through in our centres and our regions and in the context of Covid, this has rather been quite complex."
The VC also said that some of the complaints coming to Unisa are actually things that NSFAS is responsible for. On the other side, NSFAS has said that delays are due to Universities.
Unisa students who have not received their learning materials allowances to buy books are advised to access their study material on myUnisa.
NSFAS returning students who haven't received their allowances by Thursday 20 May 2021 should contact the Division: Student Funding (DSF) on [email protected]