AfriForum Youth approached the Court after the organisation received complaints earlier the year from various students from tertiary institutions across the country about non-payments of their bursaries by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
About 5 000 students’ NSFAS payments were stopped for various reasons, which include that students were dishonest in their applications, or that they failed to disclose their parents’ true income. Dr Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education, said in a media statement on 7 August this year that some students had been dishonest in their applications. However, the Western Cape High Court found in a test trial that it was not true for all students – at least one student was deprived of his bursary because NSFAS had run out of money.
AfriForum Youth had already directed a letter to NSFAS in this regard. However, NSFAS’s insufficient answers compelled the organisation to launch an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (a PAIA application).
“Government plays with the future of our youth by suddenly cancelling their bursaries after so many months and alleging that they had committed fraud. Because of this decision, they compel young people to incur debt, which they would not have done if they had known from the start that they would not have qualified for bursaries. We will not allow the government to double-cross young people who are building their future. AfriForum Youth will continue to assist these students and to ensure that they receive what was promised to them,” says Chantelle du Preez, AfriForum Youth’s National Coordinator for Tertiary Institutions.
Until now, AfriForum Youth has encouraged students who approached the organisation in this regard to follow the NSFAS appeal process until all remedies have been exhausted before they can be represented as a group in the court case against NSFAS.
AfriForum Youth created an online platform for students who followed the correct process and did not lie about their parents’ financial position. AfriForum youth will evaluate every application individually to decide whether students should be added to the class action against NSFAS and the relevant tertiary institution.
To qualify, students should have –
- Followed the correct NSFAS process and that of their tertiary institution; and
- Submitted their application factually correct and timeously.
Join AfriForum Youth today and help to make a difference. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or SMS “NSFAS” to 32687 (R1).
- Follow this link to the online platform.