Limpopo education dept fails to pay bursaries – report

2012-08-11 10:08

The Limpopo education department has failed to pay the bursaries of 207 students.

The students are studying towards Bachelor of Education Senior Phase and FET qualifications.

According to the Saturday Star, the bursary entailed that the department be liable for the students’ tuition, meals, textbooks and accommodation.

The students were told their bursary funds would be released by the end of the June holidays but the department has reportedly failed to deliver.

Final-year student Elijar Maswangayi (27) said the students met the department’s administrator, Mzwandile Matthews, two weeks ago and he confirmed the department had no money to cover their costs.

“Matthews told us that the department didn’t have money and said he would make an arrangement with the provincial treasury to address our challenges urgently,” Maswangayi was quoted as saying.

Some students told the paper they were worried about the situation.

“It is public knowledge that the Limpopo provincial government has collapsed, so we are just wondering how this crisis affects us because the department knew they had to pay for our studies,” one student told the newspaper.

Others said the department always paid their fees late and they wished the department would prioritise them.

According to the report, students were meant to receive R13 200 a year but it was rumoured the amount had been reduced to R9 000.

Limpopo education department spokesperson, Pat Kgomo, confirmed that students’ bursary funds were still outstanding. He said they had made arrangements with the university to make payments later this year.

“Cash flow challenges hampered payments up to the third quarter,” Kgomo told the paper.

The education department is one of five provincial departments that was placed under national administration in December due to financial mismanagement.

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