Batlile Phaladi
1 minute read
19 Feb 2016
9:00 am

Universities ‘have housing money’

Batlile Phaladi

Nsfas allocacated over R18bn for student accomodation.

Rhodes Must Fall members and students gather around protest point, "Shackville". Image supplied: ANA

A mid protests at universities across the country over a shortage of accommodation and funds to pay historic student debts, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) has distanced itself from the shortage of housing, saying it had given universities an upfront payment in January to cover student accommodation.

Speaking at a media briefing in Midrand yesterday, Nsfas CEO Msulwa Daca said it expected the 26 universities that each received a portion of an R18 billion allocation in January to provide accommodation to students.

“We have a team and we will follow up with universities on how they are paying for students who use private accommodation,” said Daca.

This comes as thousands of students who qualified for Nsfas assistance say they have not been placed in university residences and have not received payment for accommodation.

Rebone Ramarumo from the University of North West said she had found a place close to the university but “because the owners said they don’t work with Nsfas and bursary letters, I still do not have a place.

I was told Nsfas will only pay at the end of March.”

A student from the University of Pretoria, Khutjo Mabasa, said he was experiencing the same problem.

“It is not me alone; a lot of people here on campus still do not have a place to stay. We have registered, but the stress of not having accommodation does not make our stay at the university pleasant. I’m travelling from Ekangala, which is over an hour with a bus and sometimes my mother does not have money for a bus ticket,” said Mabasa.

Mabasa said he was given a letter to register but “most private accommodations in Hatfield require deposits.”

– batlilep@citizen.co.za