The DA will write once again to the Higher Education and Training Portfolio Committee Chairperson, Cornelia September, requesting her to urgently summon the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to explain why thousands of students have still not received funding.
We have already written once to Ms September but no definite response has been received, while ANC members of the Committee were actually adamantly against having NSFAS appear.
The Nelson Mandela University and other colleges have been shut down, allegedly since Wednesday, as a result of being unable to buy food, supplies, or pay rent. Protests are likely to escalate.
Students are disappointed and frustrated by ANC promises of a new fee-free model having failed to materialise due to a lack of payment.
When President Zuma suddenly promised fee-free Higher Education in December last year he totally failed to take into account that this would be difficult to implement immediately.
The Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor, is aware of this crisis and has herself expressed frustration at its continuation right into the middle of the year. But so far, little movement has been made in improving the situation.
NSFAS should come to Parliament in the coming week, and explain to the public what it intends to do to address, as quickly as possible, this crisis.
Belinda Bozzoli MP
DA Shadow Minister of Higher Education and Training