The Student Representative Council (SRC) at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) set out to raise R21 million to pay student debts and have so far, rather impressively, raised a whopping R4 million.
The SRC President, Mpendulo Mfeka, has said that this will also go towards students' registration fees. On how the money will be distributed, Mfeka said:
In distributing the money we will prioritise those from rural areas and townships and then others from semi-suburban areas and then suburban areas.
The capped amount for a student to receive is R50 000. There will however be exceptional cases. An example of this would be for a student who has no funding and produced excellent academic results.
Legitimacy is obviously important, especially with such a large amount of money, but the SRC President assures that, "We have put the university's financial systems and rules and we have the university's auditors for credibility."
After the money is distributed, it will be audited by the University.
They will start distributing the money this week for registration fees as registration will close soon.
The SRC tried to resolve the issue of student debt internally first and have had endless conversations with management. From this, the idea to raise money was born.
You might be wondering where these millions come from. Mfeka said that the '21 million in 2021 Campaign' was launched a few months ago and that the money comes from a number of donors and NGOs.
Some Universities require students to have paid a portion of their historic debt in order to be able to register for the new year. This has been at the centre of recent nationwide protests along with the demand to have historic debt written off.
Student debt is a national crisis along with the issue of students struggling to not only register but to pay the registration fee. This is why the Wits SRC felt the need to do something and will now help so many struggling students in the country.