Wits student blames bursary nightmare for failing

2016-03-24 12:23

Mbombela - A first-year Wits University student is stuck without his results and is blaming the Mpumalanga education department for failing to pay his tuition fees as part of a R100 000 bursary it awarded him.

He did not hand in the correct paperwork at the required time, and he failed his course, which immediately excluded him from qualifying for any more financial aid, department spokesperson Jasper Zwane said.

The Bachelor of Sciences Engineering student, Mbuso Mabuza, 19, from Bushbuckridge, said his bursary only gave him access to the university's residence, but did not cover his tuition fees as promised.

“I received the bursary in 2015 to do my first year at Wits. The pressure to adapt to a new environment was nothing compared to the one of not being able to attend class because I had no study materials. I don’t know whether I passed or failed,” said Mabuza.

After he matriculated from the LM Mokoena Secondary School in 2014, he said he was excited to receive the good news about getting the bursary, but nothing good had come of it.

The bursary was awarded in conjunction with the Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority (ETDP SETA).

“I spent the whole of year last year in 2015 at Wits University without any help from the department of education or ETDP SETA. All I ever needed from the bursary was the books and study materials, which they promised in the confirmation letter,” Mabuza said.

Mabuza said he returned to Wits this year, but did not know how long he would stay as he had still not received study materials.

“I am also unsure for how long will the university let me stay here with the outstanding fees I owe them. I don’t have anyone or a relative in Johannesburg to accommodate me,” he added.

Mabuza pleaded with the department to help him pursue his degree.

Zwane said Mabuza’s bursary could not be processed because he did not submit the contract to the ETDP SETA’s offices at the required time, and because he failed.

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