Earlier this week students from the Ehlanzeni Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) College’s Mapuleng Campus in Mpumalanga were kicked out of their private residences by their landlords who demanded rent, forcing them to find accommodation in public libraries and police stations.
According to SA News, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) Administrator, Dr Randall Carolissen, said the scheme made an upfront allowance to the institution’s first disbursement run in February.
The upfront payment of R1 950 per student was intended to be applied for two months’ transport and personal care. NSFAS is currently processing payments to top up allowances for the two months worth of private accommodation for students.
“This amount was sent to the colleges which had the capacity to disburse allowances to students. In some cases colleges requested NSFAS to take over the payments of allowances via the NSFAS wallet as they were struggling to pay all students,” said Carolissen.
He added that Ehlanzeni forwarded an updated declaration, however, with the information for students from campuses in Mapulaneng and Barberton being incomplete. He further states that in order for NSFAS to make accommodation payments accurately, the registration declarations were required from colleges.
SA News notes that the NSFAS administrator had previously engaged with private accommodation service providers to explain the NSFAS allowance structure and the payment schedule, and an agreement was reached that scheme funded students will not be required to pay a deposit on accommodation.
“Furthermore we emphasise the need for all private accommodation service providers to obtain institutional accreditation to ensure that the welfare of students remains a priority,” concluded Carolissen.
While there seems to be a back and forth between NSFAS and private accommodation service providers, students are still being left in the lurch by a system designed to take care of them. As such it remains unclear what they’ll be forced to do for accommodation in the interim.