EFF’s UFS student command demands payments

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The Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command (EFFSC) picketed at the main gate of the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein on Monday to voice their grievances to the institution’s management.

OFM News reports that the EFFSC’S coordinator, Khusela Afrika, tells OFM News that the reason for the protest stemmed from a decision from NSFAS and Higher Education to not extend allowances for meals and accommodation despite the academic year being extended until January.

Afrika claims that students who depend on these allowances are entering a crucial time in their timetables with their final exams slowly approaching. The student council who are seeking answers are worried that their current grievance will not be attended to because of the backlog of previous issues that have allegedly not been resolved to date.

‘’People like myself, we are NSFAS beneficiaries. We’re affected by this nonsensical decision by NSFAS. We want to know [from the university] what is actually happening with that process’’.

The University of the Free State has since acknowledged that they have received the memorandum from the student command following the protest.

Afrika also revealed to OFM News’ Leatile Leiee how he perceives the registration process for NSFAS funding to be rigged. He says this has resulted in some students being de-registered because of the greed of other students who may have better financial backgrounds than others.

In the Government Gazette of 29 June 2020, the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, published a National Framework for tuition and accommodation fees for the academic year 2020 in the Public Higher Education Institutions.

According to the statement, the purpose of the framework is to prescribe temporary payment and cash flow measures or steps currently necessary to alleviate, contain and minimise the effects of the COVID-19 threat to the public higher education sector.

“The framework will also provide directives to officials of public higher education institutions to disseminate information and all applicable measures for implementation, to alleviate and contain the effects of the COVID-19 threat,” said Minister Nzimande.

The Minister further said that the directives will also assist to alleviate the financial strain on institutions, NSFAS, private fee-paying individuals and private accommodation providers, recognising that the COVID-19 pandemic affects all groups in different ways.