A large number of students at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth face an uncertain future, this because the National Students’ Financial Aid Scheme has not yet processed their applications.
Last week, the Higher Education Department allocated the fund with a further R1 billion. With the final day for registration looming, some of the students face possible eviction from residences.
Some of the affected students are concerned that schools opening on Monday they don’t know what to do. “I am stressed because I don’t have books, I don’t have money to buy textbooks I don’t eat sometimes as I do not have money,” says another.
Some of the students say they are currently squatting with friends and they have no money to register.
Meanwhile, chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training Ishmael Malale, has called for stringent measures in how financial aid is granted.
Malale says the Committee is aware that there are those who manipulate NSFAS procedures to gain resources utilised for other processes. He adds that efforts must be undertaken by the fund and government to tighten the system and ensure that the money is given to those that it is intended for.