Government has introduced its new bursary scheme fund aimed at supporting poor and working class students for their academic tuition at tertiary institutions. The new bursary fund will be phased in stages over the next five years.
Higher Education and Training Minister Naledi Pandor says starting from this year, a bursary fund amounting to more than seven billion rand has been allocated for poor students.
She says another amount of over R4.5 billion has been set aside for poor students who qualify for Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges.
“As a result, the baseline allocation to NSFAS to support poor and working class university and TVET students, will increase from the R9.849 billion in 2017-18 to R35.321 billion in 2020-21. This implies a need for improved efficiency and systems development at NSFAS.”
To address such a need, Pandor says that they will be allocating an additional R105 million over time to assist in those administrative duties that NSFAS will face.
“What has changed is that government will support poor and working class students through an expanded bursary scheme, which replaces the previous loan and partial bursary scheme.”
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training Buti Manamela has called on all university students and those at TVET colleges to take advantage of the new bursary scheme.
“It’s been a long protracted strike, and a culmination of which was what we have dubbed as the Fees Must Fall. So, I think it’s been a battle of many generations of students even pre-1994 and I think it not only is a victory for students but it’s a victory for South Africa that we have the scheme announced.”