By Hendrica Nkoana (2 mins read)
For the month of September, students at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) received their monthly meal allowances from NSFAS in a period of no less than 3 days after it was due on Saturday, 28th September.
Although the allowances are availed to NSFAS from the National Treasury, the scheme gives the funds to Fundi, who is then responsible of directly distributing the funds to students’ personal accounts.
Attempts to reach Fundi for more details regarding the delay were unsuccessful: phone calls were not answered, and the emails sent were not responded to.
Hence, there is a lack of clarity about the delay. On Tuesday, 1st October, Fundi sent students an SMS. And at this point, the delay had affected a number of students.
The UJ APK EFF Student Command stated in their Facebook page post, “This incompetence is rooted in nothing but the arrogance in UJ NSFAS staff members and has affected a lot of students who are dependent on this allowance.”
They called upon all students of UJ’s APK campus to join them for an urgent peaceful march scheduled for Wednesday, 2nd October, to the student finance offices to address the issue.
The march did not happen because students started receiving their allowances on Tuesday, 1st October.
A first-year student in BCom Accounting, Sifiso Khumalo who has been affected by the delay, said “During the one-week study break, I decided to visit my family in KZN and to my knowledge I was supposed to receive my allowance on the 28th of September.
“I only received it on the 2nd of October, of which on the 1st, I was supposed to write a BMA test. Now I have to apply for a sick test because I only managed to come back three days later after my test.”
The Chairperson of SASCO, Thando Gwatyu, said the EFFSC-led SRC should work hand in hand with the finance office with regards to such matters.
“If we are an active SRC we would engage with the finance office every time and not just when there is a problem because it is not the first time these allowances are delayed,” said Ncwatju.
He claims that it is a national problem from the NSFAS headquarters which indicates incompetence.
One student from Tshwane University of Technology Polokwane campus, Moratho Maila who is a 2nd year student in Public Management, said that he lacked money for food and hoped to receive the allowance, but it did not affect him so much since it was only a one-day delay.
Throughout the academic year, there have been scandals about how students were defrauded of their allowances in various TVET colleges.
Three NSFAS officials have been arrested for fraud for diverting student allowances into their own personal accounts. TOJ
Reporting by Hendrica Nkoana. Editing by Gaby Ndongo. Feature image courtesy to Gaby Ndongo.