South Africa

Students let down by Nsfas turn to social media for crowdfunding

South African students have resorted to begging for money on social media to pay for their registration and tuition fees while the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) drags their feet with administration processes.

On 31 December 2023, an urgent board meeting was held to devise plans on how to solve Nsfas’ outstanding issues involving the 2024 academic year, unpaid student allowances and budget adjustments.

R10 goes a long way

Nsfas is often late with disbursements and administration processes. As a result many frustrated students find themselves without access to education.

In 2023, Nsfas defunded approximately 40 000 studentsThe students now have to scramble to find other options to further their education.

However, the good side of X (Twitter) revealed itself on Monday when people teamed up to pay Kabelo Mokgopa’s university bill. An X user who had mocked paying off Mokgopa’s account with R10 unknowingly stirred up just enough outrage from the X community.

ALSO READ: SIU recovers R737.9 million in Nsfas funds from higher learning institutions

The success of this initiative has led to other students with university debt also receiving help.

Although some students had the university fees settled, others still owe large amounts for tuition and registration.

Crowdfunding, especially informal, can only go so far.

ALSO READ: Nsfas the reason thousands of students cannot study – Unisa SRC

Optimists on X suggested that more initiatives like Mokgopa’s need to be started. However, some raised concerns about being scammed.

Unkept promises

Despite all the briefings held by the Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande, students still find themselves in tight situations regarding their access to tertiary education.

“The minister has yet to inform the public on how the R1.1 billion shortfall will be funded or why the Nsfas application process have been extended considering that 87 000 students might not be funded and the fact that 11 000 students have not received their 2023 funding,” said DA MP Chantel King.

ALSO READ: Increased registration fees, Nsfas budget cut and accommodation cap a recipe for #FeesMustFall