GEORGE NEWS - South Cape College George campus issued a statement in relation to this week’s protest by students who did not receive their NSFAS bursary allowances as expected:
A group of students engaged in protest action on 25 and 26 February 2019 at the George campus and the Central Office. Registration of students at South Cape TVET College is linked to the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) TVET College bursary fund’s application cycles. NSFAS is the DHET bursary administrator for the bursary fund on a national basis. Bursaries are awarded to students based on the DHET TVET College’s Bursary Fund’s Rules and Guidelines 2019.
The first closing date for bursaries this year was 15 January, it was then extended to 31 January, the second extension was 12 February and the final closing date was 15 February. The extensions of closing dates for bursary applications were given by DHET due to the need of students who registered late for their programmes.
Students who qualify for a bursary will also apply for a travel or accommodation allowance according to the Rules and Guidelines for 2019, and academic performance criteria. Allowances are also linked to students’ class attendance during the year, which should not drop below 80%.
The final verification of applications received from campuses is done at the Central Office. Incomplete applications will be returned to a campus bursary officer to assist students to provide all documentation required. After approval of the bursary applications by NSFAS, the college will do the first payment of allowances according to the payment schedule for the year.
The first batch of allowances paid on 22 February 2019 did not include all students who have applied for allowances due to the verification process and approval by NSFAS, which caused the students’ protest.
During discussions held with students, the SRC and student representatives, the request was made that allowances should rather be paid simultaneously to all students in March in the future. Some students in private accommodation indicated that the lessors are threatening them with eviction.
An urgent appeal is made to lessors not to evict students until all payments are done.
Management encourages all students to attend their classes while the logistics of making allowance payments are attended to by staff. We want to thank students and staff for their cooperation and support to solve this issue as soon as possible. Lessors or host parents of students in private accommodation are requested to contact the Campus Head should they have any enquiries. We want to thank the public for your understanding and apologise for any inconvenience caused by the protest.
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