Beyond FMF: Pulling families out of poverty

South Africa’s higher education sector has been rocked over the last two years as the Fees Must Fall protests at universities, colleges and technikons have exposed and emphasised the financial struggles of aspiring graduates. But as the political drama between the state, students and university management has entered the fray, attention has been diverted from the core matter at hand – the narrative of everyday people struggling for access to education and the systemic exclusion this speaks of.
Through this six-part series, The Daily Vox hopes to reprioritise these voices.
The Daily Vox interviewed people from across the country who are struggling for higher education funding, some of whom just want to improve their families’ lives.


Shafeeqa loves studying law, and wants to become an attorney. She plans on studying her LLB at UNISA, but the total cost of R29, 000 for the year is beyond her family’s income. She is extremely motivated to find work and help her mother, who is the only breadwinner. She wants her family’s financial situation to improve.


Makhubele is from Limpopo and wants to study Marketing Management at Central Johannesburg College. His family lives off a social grant of R1, 460 a month, and so he can’t afford the R22, 000 in fees for the year. He loves business, socialising and playing football, and hopes to end his family’s poverty.


Tidimalo is from Soweto and wants to study a BComm at Wits, but his family income of R2, 000 a month makes the fees of R44, 910 impossible to pay. He lives with eight family members including his single mother, and they often fail to make ends meet. He wants to look after his family and buy his mother a house.

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Reporting by Mohammed Jameel Abdulla and Mishka Wazar 
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