Bursary studentDENIED RESIDENCE registration

2016-02-17 06:00
PHOTO: nqobile mtolo Durban University of Technology student Smangele Buthelezi has been denied student accommodation registration because of outstanding fees from last year despite receiving a bursary from the Department Education.

PHOTO: nqobile mtolo Durban University of Technology student Smangele Buthelezi has been denied student accommodation registration because of outstanding fees from last year despite receiving a bursary from the Department Education.

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THE student-funding gloom is denying many tertiary students a better future, and there is no need to search far for victims.

One affected student is Smangele Buthelezi, who is doing her third-year Bachelor of Education (Bed) degree at the Pietermaritzburg Durban University of Technology (DUT) campus.

Buthelezi, who comes from Tongaat just outside Durban, said one of her high-school teachers took out a loan of R55 000 so she could enrol for her studies without any financial glitches.

The funds started drying up last year and the money left only covered tuition fees. This year Buthelezi received a bursary from the Department of Education, but her registration for student accommodation could not be finalised as she needs to pay the R10 000 owing from last year

“Last year the loan was not enough to pay for student accommodation so I had to live with friends. The bursary from the Department of Education will cover my student accommodation, but DUT is refusing me registration for student residence.

“I cannot afford to pay the R10 000. I have applied countless times to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas), but have never received any positive response from them. All they could tell me was that they had no funds,” said Buthelezi.

Buthelezi said her aunt’s monthly government grant of R900 is not enough to support her aunt’s five children and her four siblings.

“I don’t know what I will eat because I do not have the money. I hope that everything gets sorted out soon,” said Buthelezi.

In response, DUT spokesperson and senior director of corporate affairs­, Alan Khan said: “Students who owe funds to the university from the previous year are on the historic debt list. In this specific case, the student in question has been advised to finalise her residence registration.

“In order for the university’s finance­ department to sort out any form of unblocking to allow students to register, each student, who owes funds, must sign an acknowledgement of debt form. When students acknow-ledge their debt, they also need to provide proof of their inability to pay their outstanding debt.”

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