The South African Union of Students (SAUS) has rejected the National Student Financial Aid Scheme’s (Nsfas’) proposed funding guidelines that returning students would need to pass 75% of their modules in order to continue receiving funding in 2023 from the scheme.
The proposed guidelines were presented by Nsfas on Monday during a meeting convened by the SAUS with student representative councils (SRCs) across the country.
The SAUS said in a statement it had noted the confusion created on Facebook and other social media platforms surrounding the proposed funding guidelines.
The guidelines include, among others, no increment on allowances and the standardisation of private accommodation allowances for Nsfas beneficiaries.
The union assured students that it would not adopt any policy or funding guidelines that sought to exclude students from poor and working-class backgrounds.
Funding guidelines not final
The union’s national spokesperson Asive Dlanjwa said the proposed funding guidelines were not final.
“We must categorically state that the proposed guidelines as they were presented by Nsfas were rejected by the union,” Dlanjwa said.
The SAUS said the final Nsfas guidelines would be published after the meeting of all stakeholders is convened.
“As a result, the union resolved that all SRCS must make their own submissions to the secretary-general of SAUS and the union will consolidate the report and reconvene all stakeholders and engage on the guidelines.”
As things stand, students who are South African citizens or permanent residents, who qualify for Nsfas funding, need to fall within one or more of the below categories:
- South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) grant recipients. However, the Covid-19 grant does not count.
- Persons whose combined household income is not more than R350,000 per year.
- Persons living with disabilities with a combined household income not more than R600,000 per annum.
Nsfas funding is available for any of the 26 public universities or 50 TVET colleges.
Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe