South Africa

CPUt students upset over department's payout delay

More than 800 Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) students at the Mowbray and Wellington campuses are still waiting for accommodation fees, travelling allowances and their fees to be paid.

The aggrieved students, who are beneficiaries of the Funza Lushaka bursary programme funded by the Department of Basic Education, took to the streets last week saying they felt neglected.

One of the students, doing her final year in teaching, said: “The year is ending and we don’t know what’s going on. Some of us come from disadvantaged backgrounds, so we can’t afford to use public transport every day.

“Two weeks back I only attended classes four times. We had to protest and voice our grievances because we have been patient for too long.”

Another student said a CPUT official informed them that management’s hands were tied as they didn’t get any funds.

However, when they called the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), the administrator of the Funza Lushaka Bursary programme, they were informed the funds were given to the institution, she said.

CPUT spokesperson Lauren Kansley said: “We are aware of 852 students who have completed NSFAS SOP Forms. CPUT was supposed to receive R66 million, but only received circa R27m and still expecting circa R39m.

“We are awaiting a remittance advice to allocate the funds. NSFAS pays funds in tranches due to system processing limitations. CPUT is waiting for follow-up payments.

“There are occasional delays, but students are always eventually paid their full amounts.

“This issue normally causes a strained relationship between the students and institution, but staff are in continuous communication with the fund administrators about the issue.

“We are communicating with NSFAS via emails and meetings. We also endeavour to keep students up to date.”

Kansley said the students have so far only received the meal allowance of R10 000 in addition to a teaching allowance of R3 500 and a book allowance of R8 000.

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