Students given a lifeline

2018-02-13 06:00
PHOTO: Phindile ShoziSt Mary’s girls excited about the new NSFAS legislation are (from left) Diteboho Motlohi, Abu Ngwenya, Ella Addison and Sphumelele Duma.

PHOTO: Phindile ShoziSt Mary’s girls excited about the new NSFAS legislation are (from left) Diteboho Motlohi, Abu Ngwenya, Ella Addison and Sphumelele Duma.

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“FREE” education has always been there, however the net is now widening as the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has implied that it will begin catering for the “missing middle”.

The missing middle are the ones whose parents couldn’t afford the tertiary fees but at the same time couldn’t qualify for NSFAS.

This is due to the fact that they have changed the system by looking at the combined annual income of the parents, which must be R350 000 or less.

For many, this is a great start, and students are excited that they have the opportunity to get the qualification they dreamed of.

According to NSFAS, you qualify if you are registering for the first time for an undergraduate qualification and have been admitted. You have to be a South African citizen and your family’s combined annual income does not exceed R350 000 per annum.

Hillcrest Fever chatted to pupils to find out their take on the situation. St Mary’s Diteboho Motlohi said free education is a great thing to aspire to.

“It’s a good idea but I feel like it should be a gradual implementation in order to perfect it,” she said.

“I feel as if it’s a great idea because it provides a fair bar of education for all races but the government needs to put in a stronger system to stop fraud,” said Ella Addison.

Sphumelele Duma couldn’t agree more about it being a great idea but she said that it is a strain for the citizens who pay taxes.

“Our government currently doesn’t have enough funding. Also I think it should first deal with the source and root of the problem before introducing free education,” she added.

However, Letisha Govender, a first-year student at university said that she is all for the thought of “free” education.

“Most of us who qualify for university do not necessarily have the funds. It is great that NSFAS is considering the ‘middle class’, as it will put less pressure on parents who cannot afford the exorbitant fees.”

If you are applying to NSFAS or are a student, please send your comments on this article to Phindile.shozi@


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