Students Protest Outside NSFAS For Debt Clearance


In the midst of planning for a national shutdown, students all over are taking to the streets to have their demands be heard. On Monday morning, a small group of students head to NSFAS offices and had a meeting with the NSFAS CEO about a number of issues.


#NationalShutdown is now trending on Twitter as students all around the country wage a war against the Higher Education Department, Universities and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) against financial exclusions and to continue the fight for free education.

Students want higher education institutions to allow them to register and for historic debt to be wiped. 

The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) is protesting outside NSFAS offices in Cape Town. A leader of the congress said:

We are of the view that government has made a pronouncement that nobody must be left out who is deserving to be funded by NSFAS. Treasury and Higher Education has made a commitment and NSFAS has given a lot of uncertainty and anxiety so we are then saying that NSFAS must be clear with communication on what is going to happen with students who qualify for it who have not been funded as yet.

They met with the NSFAS CEO, Andile Nongogo, on Monday morning to raise issues that they see as important.

ANCYL is also demanding that there must be someone held accountable for the corruption at NSFAS. 

He also brought up NSFAS issue of irregular expenditure saying, "NSFAS has irregularly spent around R2 billion last year. You cannot have R2 billion disappearing from an institution".

There is a larger problem of corruption here and maladministration that is then creating the problems that you see in the country. There must be some consequence management.

Students all over are calling for free education and plans are being made for a National Shutdown. 

We are calling for free education. We believe that free education is possible in the country and we believe that free education is actually cheaper. 

The ANCYL leader goes on to say that education in the country is turning into a business with Universities treating themselves as private companies "milking and making profit out of education" and they are of course against this. 

The South African Students Congress (SASCO) along with the South African Union of Students (SAUS) are calling for a total shutdown of all higher learning institutions.

Universities South Africa CEO, Professor Ahmed Bawa, has said that there is enormous financial pressure on universities and the financial demands made by students add to that.

He continued to say:

Universities are not a place issues of funding are going to be solved as this is a national issue and there needs to be a national solution. University cant absorb the financial pressures by themselves.

SASCO has said that this shutdown should continue until their demands are met which includes the wiping of historical debt and fee free higher education.

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