Activities still suspended at some TUT campuses over rejection of banking system for NSFAS

14 July 2023 - 12:39
By Shonisani Tshikalange
NSFAS introduced a bank account for university students, but not all students are impressed.
Image: Nsfas/Twitter NSFAS introduced a bank account for university students, but not all students are impressed.

Classes remain suspended at three Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) campuses after student demonstrations against the new National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) direct payment system called “eZaga”.

The affected campuses are Pretoria main campus, Garankuwa and Soshanguve.

In a notice shared with stakeholders on Thursday, the university confirmed classes remain suspended on Friday.

It said this was to allow time for management and student representatives to finalise discussions aimed at ending ongoing anti-NSFAS protests by some students.

On Tuesday, the university suspended activities for Wednesday and Thursday, requesting staff at all campuses to work remotely.

The university said it had no power to change the decisions of NSFAS, but management was considering the issues emanating from its engagement with the student representative council that are within its powers.

The new system will see NSFAS make direct payments into bank accounts using independent service providers instead of doing it through higher learning institutions.

On Monday, campus student representative council secretary Keamogetswe Masike said they want the scheme to exempt TUT from the process at least until 2024.

Masike said it was not rational to implement a process of this nature at a time when many students were focused on studies and exams.

However, NSFAS spokesperson Slumezi Skosana said the main objective in NSFAS taking over direct payment was to ensure accountability on student allowances and to establish a better co-ordinated system for the transfer of funds to students.

Skosana said NSFAS expects the new system to be not only convenient for students, but also to provide allowances in a manner that is dependable and predictable.

Masike said there would not be any activity in the university until they met higher education minister Blade Nzimande.

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