NSFAS ordered to take decision on application for financial aid
Njabulo Mavuso has dropped out of Rhodes University and his life is in limbo while the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) decides whether it will grant him financial aid.
“It’s seriously frustrating. It’s bad‚ because they (parents) put in so much effort and work into getting you into school and now they just see nothing happening. There’s a lot questions that I can’t answer.”
Mavuso last year finished his first year of his commerce studies.
“I know that everyone else is busy studying. I am missing out on so much work. All my friends and everyone‚ their lives go on. They continue to study.”
Mavuso‚ 22‚ moved back home to Johannesburg after his family could no longer pay for his studies.
“They (parents) want to see me progress in life and now that progression is being halted by the situation.”
There appeared to be some light at the end of the tunnel on Tuesday after the High Court in Grahamstown ordered NSFAS to tell Mavuso within the next week whether he will receive financial aid.
Mavuso first applied for financial aid in 2016 for the 2017 academic year‚ but got no response from NSFAS. His family paid some of his initial tuition fees.
“We hadn’t paid throughout the year‚ but the school allowed me to stay on.”
He reapplied for financial aid in November last year.
Students who get financial aid from NSFAS do not have to pay university registration fees.
Mavuso could not register at the beginning of the 2018 academic year‚ because he could not pay his registration fees while waiting for NSFAS to decide if it will fund him. He phoned and emailed NSFAS who told him his application was still being processed.
Mavuso then approached the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) which brought an urgent court application on his behalf.
LRC also asked that the court instruct NSFAS to inform all students within 30 working days and within a month before the start of the academic year whether they will receive financial aid.
The court will rule on the further relief at a later date. NSFAS was ordered to pay the costs of the postponement.
Mavuso advised students in the same situation to seek someone to fight the battle on their behalf.
“If you go in by yourself‚ you’re just going to get derailed.”