Northlink students boycott classes over delayed NSFAS payments

The college says it’s waiting for NSFAS to verify list of qualifying students to be paid.

Lectures at Northlink College’s Protea campus in Bellville have been disrupted by ongoing protests by students demanding that their National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) allowances be paid.

Students have been blocking entrances at the campus and protesting since Monday. They have vowed to continue boycotting classes until their funds are paid.

Some students told GroundUp that they have not been able to submit their assignments while others can’t apply for college accommodation without the outstanding allowance payment.

Protea campus students’ chairperson Khanya Tonise said they needed the allowance of R1,025 for transport. She accused the college of failing to pay students’ accommodation and that they were now facing eviction.

There are students who were given 72 hours to vacate their residences. Others fear they too might be kicked out if the college does not pay,” said Tonise. This affects about 250 students, she said.

NSFAS spokesperson Kagisho Mamabolo said it had already made funds available to the college. Mamabolo said they wanted to get feedback from the college on this matter before responding to our questions in greater detail.

Northlink’s spokesperson Ranaldo Van Rooy insisted that the college was still waiting for confirmation from NSFAS over the payments to eligible students.

When asked when payments are likely to be completed, Van Rooy said that the payment process was being led by NSFAS and therefore the college was not in a position to confirm any dates.

Meanwhile, student Sinesipho Goji said her transport allowance was expected to be paid last week Friday. “Most students no longer come in because they do not have money for transport. Every year at this college we are forced to protest before the college pays us our allowances and that is not fair,” she said.

Goji said her mother has been borrowing money since January to pay the R50 fee for a round trip to the campus every day. “At home no one is working. I’m relying on this allowance. I’m going to struggle attending classes,” said Goji

Protests are expected to continue.

By Nombulelo Damba-Hendrik

»Northlink students boycott classes over delayed NSFAS payments«

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