Students at technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges say theyâ€
For South Africaâ€
In January, students shut down 15 TVET colleges over unresolved issues including inadequate NSFAS funding and late payments for accommodation and transport. Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has admitted to administrative problems at TVET colleges over the years; still the problem hasnâ€
*Fefekazi Mjanxa, a final year student in education and development at Buffalo City College in East London told The Daily Vox transport costs are a serious issue for many students on NSFAS.
â€œSome of us are struggling to go to school because we donâ€
Mjanxa said that there is lack of communication between NSFAS and the college. â€œYou go to the finance offices at school and they tell you that the reason you didnâ€
Buffalo City College did not respond to a request for comment.
Students at Port Elizabeth College (PE College) say theyâ€
â€œSome students only receive R100 for transport a month. You canâ€
Hlekani said students had approached the college about the matter but have not received any feedback.
PE College spokesperson Thomas Rademeyer told The Daily Vox the college is not responsible for students not receiving their NSFAS transport allowance. â€œWe have a database application and we submit it on their behalf, or we assist them with the online application. Once they’ve registered with NSFAS, it then communicates directly with the students and not with us,â€ he said.
Rademeyer said travel allowances are distributed through sBux, the NSFAS payment system which pays student allowances in the form of vouchers sent to studentsâ€
NSFAS spokesperson Kagisho Mamabolo told The Daily Vox NSFAS have not received any complaints from students who did not receive transport allowance. He said R2.4 billion was allocated towards TVET colleges in 2017 and that R263.2 million of this went to the Eastern Cape.
According to the department of higher education and training, 205 000 university students and 200 000 TVET students were to receive NSFAS funding in 2017.
But many TVET still students feel their issues, including the question of transport allowances, havenâ€
BCC student *Sinoxolo Mfixi believes government should be prioritising college students, not university students, when it comes to NSFAS budget allocations.
â€œYou will think that, because we are students studying at cheaper colleges than universities, we are not affected by things like money and funding, but we are. Just because I pay R10 000 and a student from university pays R50 000 a year, doesnâ€
*Names have been changed
Featured image by Aaisha Dadi Patel