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UFH students: We want our money

NEWS COMMENTARY

Students and staff at the University of Fort Hare (UFH) Alice campus were instructed to vacate the campus until further notice this week, after students set a building alight and looted a book store.

The students, who are protesting over water outages and power cuts on campus, poor WiFi connections and not receiving their meal and travel allowances, reportedly caused R200 000 worth of property damage to a student centre. The students are also protesting over NSFAS allowances which they say have not yet been received.

Sibongiseni Mthungatha, a final year student at the university told The Daily Vox that students will continue to protest until management negotiates with them. “We want our money. The person in management who has access to all of student funds doesn’t want to leave his office and address us. We need to break things in order for people to listen to you,” he said.

Mthungatha said students have been struggling to buy textbooks and travel to campus because they have not received NSFAS allowances. “We haven’t even received our NSFAS loan agreements We have to ask our parents for transport money to get to school, money they don’t even have,” he added.

In a press statement, UFH spokesperson Khotso Moabi said about 1 000 students have not signed their NSFAS loan agreements, which has resulted in them not receiving their payments.

Moabi disputed the claims of power cuts on campus, saying there had only been power cuts at one residence and that this has since been fixed. He said that the university intends to finish the academic year, despite student protests and have increased the security presence on the campus. Police have already arrested several students involved in the protests.

Featured image via Flickr
2 Comments
  1. micha weir says

    now I really don’t understand this: if students “dont sign their loan agreement” with NSFAS they obviously don’t receive their loan payment. if you dont sign you dont agree, so you dont get! this is very clearly stated on NSFAS website and everywhere in FinAid office info. so why don’t they sign. why do students expect loan payments if the students don’t sign the agreements to release the loan? how can that be thrown back at the university / FinAid office if it is obviously the students breaking the agreement process? it is criminal if students leaders play with peoples future to make a political statement. I expect you journalists to check up on statement like this and educate people.

    1. UFH STUDENT says

      NSFAS was supposed to email students their loan agreement forms or the university was going to do that but to this day, nothing has been done. So how can they sign a form that they haven’t been given? There are THOUSANDS of students who haven’t received their allowances and most of the time it’s the university that’s delaying the process. There’s a problem with WiFi connectivity, power, water, just the BASIC student needs. There’s even issues regarding fee waivers. There is NOTHING wrong with this article, YOU are the one who needs to check up on your statement and educate YOURSELF.

      Kind regards
      UNIVERSITY OF FORT HARE STUDENT

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