SAUS Speaks on Higher Education Sector's Readiness for 2023

By Tshegofatso Makola

The South African Union of Students (SAUS) held a media briefing on the Higher Education Sector's readiness for the 2023 academic year. The union spoke on the universities' state of readiness, as well as NSFAS' allowances and guidelines.

Following the address by the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology of South Africa, Blade Nzimande on 31 January 2023, SAUS held a briefing to address the matters raised by the minister.

Presented by the President of the Union, Lubabalo Ndzoyiya, the address saw issues of student accomodation and funding being spoken about, as well as the exclusion of what was described as the "missing middle".

When addressing Nzimande's statement of NSFAS decision date being 6 February, the union expressed that they disagree with this detailing that this date is late and stresses students out.

Speaking on the "missing middle", the union expressed its concern on this group of students, calling for government to co-ordinate to ensure that they are not excluded from getting financial aid.

The Joburg Post (JP) spoke to the President of the Union regarding the accommodation allowance increase that has been announced by the Higher Education Minister, that will see NSFAS beneficiaries receive an allowance of R45 000 per annum for the year.

When asked by JP whether students in regions with accommodation that exceeds the allocation, will be provided for, Ndzoyiya expressed that institutions that exceed the allocation will have to apply to NSFAS for deviation.

Speaking on the collapse of historically disadvantaged institutions, the union criticised the University of Fort Hare's Vice Chancellor, for what they have described as the failure to engage with government and authorities on issues.

Registration has commenced for many higher education institutions across the country, and with many students having applied for NSFAS funding, one will have to wait until 6 February 2023 to hear the outcome.

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