Home News Disruptions rock Sol Plaatje University

Disruptions rock Sol Plaatje University

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Classes were disrupted at Sol Plaatje University yesterday morning when students demanded the payment of National Student Financial Aid Scheme allowances and expressed concern over conditions at off-campus accommodation sites.

File picture: Danie van der Lith

CLASSES were disrupted at Sol Plaatje University (SPU) yesterday morning when students demanded the payment of National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) allowances and expressed concern over conditions at off-campus accommodation sites.

The acting director of Institutional Advancement in the office of the vice-chancellor at SPU, Kashini Maistry, said the NSFAS approached the higher education sector earlier this year to assist with the payment of allowances for February and March 2024.

“Resolving the issues around the service providers who were previously responsible for these payments has become a challenge because the information on the NSFAS portal is different from the list of funded students provided by NSFAS to higher education institutions,” said Maistry.

She stated that some students did not qualify for funding.

“At the Sol Plaatje University over 2 500 students who qualify for NSFAS funding have been paid through our finance division to date. Students who have not yet received their allowances were either de-funded by NSFAS or their details had to be vetted for payment by the university because they are either first-year students or first-time recipients of NSFAS funding.

“Several students have also submitted incorrect banking details and have been notified via e-mail to rectify this via the SPU Finance division.”

Maistry said the university executive met with the student representative council (SRC).

“A mutual agreement was reached that the payment of allowances to all qualifying students, whose information is correct or has been updated, will be made by close of business on March 8.”

She stated that the SRC and the Dean of Students would meet to resolve matters regarding conditions at accredited off-campus accommodation.

“The Dean of Students will work with the SRC to create a mechanism whereby the SRC can engage the landlords of accredited off-campus accommodation on behalf of students.

“The SRC will work with the university management to assist de-funded students in the short term, through the student social relief fund, with the provision of meals on campus and access to food parcels.”

Maistry reminded students that while the university respected the right of individuals to peaceful protest, it would not tolerate any behaviour that infringed upon the rights of others.

“Any behaviour that is violent or disruptive to academic, operational and construction activities and which contravene the student code of conduct will be dealt with through the disciplinary processes of the university,” she added.

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