Batlile Phaladi
1 minute read
20 Jan 2016
9:00 am

No debts paid, no registration

Batlile Phaladi

Student bodies are scrambling to get funds that will allow thousands to continue with their studies.

Bishop Ziphozihle Siwa, President of the South African Council of Churches (center) together with Reverend Frank Chikane (left) and Bishop Mpumlwana address student leaders, on their concerns regarding the problem of fees in higher education that the students are currently fighting under the #feesmustfall movement, Randburg, 19 January 2016. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Thousands of students at universities across the country would not be able to continue with their academic careers should they not get the means to cover their outstanding 2015 fees.

Most of their fates are now in the hands of the Student Representative Councils, who were approaching donors and provincial government to clear the 2015 academic year’s debt – amounting to millions – to enable them to register.

This follows a week of protests and some violent incidents at different campuses.

The University of Cape Town confirmed students not on the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) owed the institution a total of R86 million.

UCT spokesperson Elijah Moholola said no provision for loans would be made for these students.

“Only students who quality for financial aid can apply to get their debt converted to a loan. This is consistent with the announcement made by President Jacob Zuma and minister Blade Nzimande.”

This means students who are not on financial aid would have to pay their outstanding fees before registration.

Wits University said students who owed the university between R1 and R1 000 as of December 31 last year would be allowed to register and their outstanding debt would be rolled over to 2016, benefiting 3 607 students.

However, about 1 418 students who owed the university between R5 001 and R20 000 would not be allowed to register if the efforts of the university and the SRC to get the provincial government to cover their debt were unsuccessful.