Uitenhage students close down college, demand NSFAS allowances

2020-02-19 21:37
College principal Charl van Heerden (with tie) addressed protesting students.

College principal Charl van Heerden (with tie) addressed protesting students. (Thamsanqa Mbovane, GroundUp)

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More than 100 boycotting students stormed out of the High Street and Park Avenue campuses at the Eastcape Midlands TVET College in Uitenhage on Wednesday afternoon.

The singing students have shut down both campuses.

They were boycotting classes, saying their National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) allowances had not been paid, GroundUp reported.

"This is a pain to all of us," a student shouted as they marched from the campuses to the college's head office on the corner of Durban and Cuyler streets.

Students said they were being thrown out of rented flats and houses by landlords who were tired of hearing "stories" from them when they failed to pay the rent.

College principal Charl van Heerden and finance officer Lennox Tukwayo stood behind the steel fence flanked by police officers. More than 40 staff members had left the head office.

A student shouted to the principal: "We have assignments and tests at the school, but we don't have money to attend [classes] because transport allowances haven't been paid yet by the NSFAS."

Another student said: "We have siblings at home. Those siblings are being taken care of by our grandmothers, through their pension money. To come to school, we also get transport money from our grandma's pension money and that's not fair."

Van Heerden responded by saying: "The living allowances will be paid in three to four days and that I can commit to. That allowance is only for returning students. Systematically, the NSFAS is processing payments. If your documents are correct, the next payment will be done on February 25 and 28 for accommodation and transport allowances."

Buffalo City TVET College students in East London have also boycotted classes over NSFAS allowances.

Read more on:    nsfas  |  education  |  university protests
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