Nsfas Steps In To Resolve Student Accommodation Crisis


Tuition and student accommodation fees increase annually at universities across the country.  Recently, the government bursary, NSFAS made changes to its allowance structure leaving many students stranded struggling to find suitable accommodation.




At the start of the year, the Department of Higher Education and Training Minister Dr. Blade Nzimande confirmed that allowances for the 2023 academic year have received an inflation-linked increase of 5%.

Nzimande explained that students funded through the government bursary scheme will now be receiving various allowances, including an accommodation allowance capped at R45 000.

However, the University of Pretoria Student Representative (SRC) President Njabulo Sibeko said he is against the cap on student accommodation, as students are expected to pay up to R63 000 this year.

This is an indication of an ongoing student accommodation crisis, which has sparked student protests in a number of universities on issues related to the newly introduced accommodation cap.

In a statement, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) said:

The Scheme held robust consultations with the South African Union of Students (SAUS) to mitigate these challenges ahead of the commencement of academic classes.

The government bursary scheme’s management and the leadership of SAUS have agreed that the students' structure would assist in gathering details of students who do not have accommodation and are allegedly sleeping in public spaces.

As part of intervening in the student crisis, Nsfas is engaging universities in an attempt to receive credible information to fast-track the process.

Nsfas is also in the process of identifying alternative accommodations to be provided within the Scheme’s stipulated rate of R45 000 per annum.

The priorities will be the universities affected by the accommodation cap and they include the following:

  • University of Pretoria
  • University of the Witwatersrand
  • Stellenbosch University 
  • University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Rhodes University 
  • Sol Plaatije University 

In order to provide the information, SAUS leadership has also committed to reaching out to every SRC at the affected universities.

According to Nsfas spokesperson, Slumezi Skosasa, where necessary, Nsfas will have to take extraordinary measures to ensure that students are not left stranded due to skyrocketing accommodation costs.


Suggested Article:

Money from a NSFAS allowance.

Several announcements to the tertiary education sector, and TVET Colleges in particular, were made during Minister Blade Nzimande's annual address regarding the DHET's readiness for the 2023 academic year. 




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