Solidarity Youth has decided to file an urgent court application against NSFAS. Some students were reportedly kicked off the bursary scheme without much notice and this has caused outrage.
Paul Maritz, manager of Solidarity Youth and Career Development said many students are being affected by NSFAS choosing to withdraw funding.
“The upshot of NSFAS’s mismanagement is that students have lost their bursaries and will therefore not be able to continue and complete their studies. These students all come from lower income groups and cannot fund their own studies in any other way. For them, NSFAS provided an answer and was an opportunity to shape their own future. Now they are being deprived of this by irregularities in the aid scheme.”
NSFAS claimed that it was within its rights when it chose to end contracts because the students no longer qualified for funding.
The Solidarity Youth does not believe this is the case and will use the court case to hold NSFAS accountable.
It is calling for NSFAS to put an end to irregularities and fulfill its end of the deal by paying student bursaries.
"What NSFAS did, is not just unethical, but it is also immoral. NSFAS forgets that it (the scheme) is not just dealing with numbers but with people whose future is at stake. Solidarity will not tolerate such actions by institutions and will fight against such irregularities.” said Anton van der Bijl, head of Legal Services at Solidarity.
Some students whose funding was stopped said they simply received text messages saying their household income is above the threshold.
NSFAS requires students to have a combined household income of R350 000 or less.
Solidarity Youth's court application against NSFAS will take place at the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria later this month.