AfriForum Youth today sent three letters to the Free State Premier’s Office to demand that the provincial bursary office pay out the bursaries to the list of students, represented by AfriForum Youth in this matter within the next 30 days. This claim applies even though the students involved are in three different phases of the administrative process.

It appears that there is no order in the bursary office’s administrative affairs. Some students have not yet received any correspondence or documentation, while others have already received and completed their application forms, and others have already received and signed their bursary contracts.

The legal action follows after students from the Free State’s top 100 matrics (2021) approached AfriForum Youth for help earlier this year because their bursaries had not yet been paid out and they received confusing or no correspondence from the bursary office. In April, the organisation sent a letter to the office of the Free State Premier, Sisi Ntombela, on behalf of these students demanding that the bursaries she had promised as an award for the remarkable achievement be paid out. No response was received, which led AfriForum Youth to consider further legal action during a consultation with their lawyer and the aggrieved parties.

“It was upsetting to hear a parent tell emotionally that her daughter had already said in grade 8 that she was going to work very hard because she wants that bursary, but now feels that it had been taken away from her. Each of these students has worked very hard for this achievement, but now, together with the responsibility of their studies, they have to worry about their university fees that have to be paid, while the Free State bursary office is lagging behind,” says René van der Vyver, spokesperson for AfriForum Youth.

During the consultation, the legal team was informed that the students, due to the bursary office’s absent and confusing correspondence, are in three different phases of the administrative process, while the universities are pressuring them to pay fees. AfriForum Youth will therefore not hesitate to take further legal action on this issue.

If the Premier does not respond to the letter and takes action to pay out the bursaries, AfriForum Youth will turn to the High Court.