- Higher Education Blade Nzimande revealed that extra funding will be made available for first-year students
- The Minister was referring to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding
- The news follows clashes between police and students outside Wits University during the week
First-year tertiary education students who qualify for National Student Financial Aid Scheme funding will now be able to register after it was revealed that more funds have been allocated.
Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Blade Nzimande made the announcement on Thursday. This follows the student protests against financial exclusion at the University of Witwatersrand.
The government, however, said the funds are not a result of the protests outside the university.
According to IOL, earlier in the week, Nzimande announced that NSFAS battled a deficit making it hard for it to confirm if the large number of first-time university students will be able to receive any funding.
SABC reported that Wits stated it had made R20 million available for students who are facing financial difficulties while R100 million has been put aside for financial aid in the form of bursaries and scholarships.
Previously, Briefly.co.za reported that Nzimande said former president Jacob Zuma hurt NSFAS by announcing free education for poorer students.
Nzimande says Zuma's announcement in 2017 of free higher education for students who could not afford it caused problems for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
The minister said that the former president's actions had subverted recommendations from the commission (Heher Commission) appointed to research funding for higher education. The commission found the country had no ability to fund free higher education.
According to the SABC, Nzimande said that the announcement increased the number of NSFAS beneficiaries and ignored work that was done by the Heher Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education and Training.
Meanwhile, Wits University released a statement condemning any violence and called on people to keep calm. On Wednesday, Wits made health and counselling services available to students and members of the community who may need assistance after they witness the death of Ntumba.
On the same topic, the South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) released a statement condemning the vicious shooting of female student journalists from Wits University by members of the police while they were recording the students' protests.
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