TVET students will show 'true colours' in 2017 - EFF MP

2016-12-01 06:03
University students protesting. (News24)

University students protesting. (News24)

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Cape Town - Technical and Vocational Education and Training college students might follow the example of their university peers and protest in 2017, an EFF MP hinted on Wednesday.

"I have a feeling that the year 2017 will be the year for TVET colleges to show their true colours, on the disgusting nature in which they are financed, in particular the poor students," Sipho Mbatha said during questions to Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande in the National Assembly.

Students protested at several universities around the country this year to demand free education.

Mbatha raised concerns about the financing of TVET college students. The students were under-serviced, he said. He asked for assurances that students would get access to their food, transport and accommodation allowances on time.

Nzimande accused the EFF of instigation and said they were well aware of it.

"We are in discussions with all the stakeholders of TVET colleges, the students and the governing parties to ensure we deal with all the problems that we had."

He said the EFF knew that National Student Financial Aid Scheme beneficiaries did not have to pay any fees.

However, the department could not pay for accommodation or transport for all TVET college students.

'Casting aspersions'

This, he said, was because the number of students in the system had increased much more rapidly than expected.

EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu said Nzimande was casting aspersions on the party and asked for him to be brought to order.

"All he is asking for is assurance. We must be given a clear assurance that there won’t be delay in payment for all TVET colleges in South Africa," Shivambu said.

Nzimande was asked about ongoing protests at universities and their effect on the completion of the year.

He said there were universities that had already finished their exams, and that some would finish in January.

Mbatha asked him if there were plans to help first-year students who had been traumatised by the protests and who might fail their exams and not qualify for NSFAS.

It depended on just how badly a student did, but all was not lost, Nzimande said.

 

Read more on:    eff  |  blade nzimande  |  protests  |  education

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