Students shut down Unisa campus over NSFAS allowance deductions

Pretoria – National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) allowance woes have reared their head at Unisa with student protests resulting in the shut down of the Sunnyside campus.

The institution’s Sunnyside campus was shut down by protesting students earlier on Tuesday who much like the Tshwane University of Technology, complained of NSFAS allowances and the change of examination dates.

The students, following the closure of the campus, made their way to the Unisa main building along Muckleneuk Ridge, Pretoria.

Thembeka Damane, South African Students Congress (Sasco) co-ordinator, addressing university principal and vice-chancellor, Mandla Makhanya, at the university, said students were not happy that there were deductions in the allowances paid out to them.

Damane said the students were against the current service provider, as they charged students R5.50 for each withdrawal they made. Similarly, the decision by the university to move up the examinations were also rejected by students.

Damane said the university had failed to even provide students with study material or laptops, therefore, placing students at a disadvantage.

“We want all students to receive cards and expect them to have notifications to say our R5 000 has been deposited as soon as possible. We are not interested in the budget of the institution. The university has not provided us with a conducive learning environment or study material even though its March already.”

Professor Makhanya tried to reassure the students that they would look at changing the examination dates to the end of June given the delays in the provision of study material.

However, he said he could not give concrete promises where third parties were involved. He said he would consult with NSFAS and the other parties to ascertain what the problem was, and how to resolve them speedily.


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