NATIONAL NEWS - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) says it will write to Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Blade Nzimande demanding immediate intervention on students in Portugal.
This after reports of South African students who are facing eviction and academic exclusion as government had not paid for their fees and accommodation.
Responding to the reports, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) said it was fully aware of the case.
“This issue is with the Office of the Free State Premier. Our Embassy in Lisbon has alerted the Premier’s Office and remains in contact,” it said.
But the EFF says this is not the first time South African students have been stranded abroad due to government’s negligence.
“In a time of human tragedy as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Cyril Ramaphosa’s government has exhibited further recklessness and contempt for education, by subjecting vulnerable students abroad to uncertainty, humiliation and fundamentally undermining their right to education.
“It is important to note that this is not the first time South African students abroad have been subjected to financial uncertainty and left helpless in other countries as a result of this government’s complete disregard fr education.
“The EFF will write a letter to Blade Nzimande demanding immediate intervention and payment of fees to avoid exclusion and eviction. The safety of these students must be of utmost priority and Nzimande must stop being complacent in the jeopardising of the lives of vulnerable students. Further to that, we will request a comprehensive database of South African students who are studying abroad and are dependent on funding from any arm of South African government,” said the party.
The EFF would monitor the situation and reach out to the students to ensure their safety, it said.