Many South African universities were at a standstill earlier this year, after numerous student protests broke out on campuses over historic debts and residence issues.
According to EWN, late last week the Minister of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), Naledi Pandor, announced that the Department will allocate R967 million to erase historical debts for National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funded students.
The allocation is specifically for those who had been funded on the previous funding scheme, before the improved funding support began in 2018.
“The information was sourced from the institutions in terms of the numbers of students that have historic debt and are continued students from 2018. So based on the numbers that we received from the institutions, NSFAS will be able to provide or make that money available to the institutions for the purpose of clearing,” said DHET spokesperson, Lunga Ngqengelele.
Another organisation that has welcomed the decision is the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), and have applauded the Minister.
“The decision is in line with meeting the demands of students across the institutions of higher learning who have been raising this issue for many years, as historic debt served as the basis for exclusion of students from poor and working class background,” executive chairperson of NYDA, Sfiso Mtsweni told SA News.