JOHANNESBURG – The frustrating days of studying and going to bed with an empty stomach are over for UJ NSFAS-funded students. This follows an announcement made by the UJ APK SRC chairperson Letlhogonolo Maimane on Friday 13 April in the Student Representative Council (SRC) offices.
The SRC won the food allowance encounter which has been an ongoing process at the University of Johannesburg. Previously, students that were funded by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) did not get any stipend unless they were in their final year. However, the burden has been lifted off the students’ shoulders as food allowances will be received by all NSFAS beneficiaries in UJ.
Although, the SRC managed to reach an agreement with the University, they are still awaiting a response from the institution, which is due next week. “As per the agreement, we are told that from next week they [the University] will be starting with the food allowance allocation process”, said deputy chairperson of the SRC Nhlanhla Mbongwa.
Among other issues, the improvement of the off-campus residences was also discussed. The SRC wants off-campus residences to have similar criteria as that of on-campus residences to ensure that the safety andnecessities ofstudents are catered for.
For instance, unlimited Wi-Fi connections that students won’t have to pay from their pockets, 24-hour security, and buildings which are in good condition – as stipulated by University policy. As a result, the SRC has established an operation called ‘Hlola’ (which means “investigate” in isiZulu) for off-campus accommodation inspections.
“We want to make it a point that the off-site accommodations are conducive for students to study. Secondly, we want to ensure that places accredited are of a better security,” added Mbongwa.
Students who are having troubles with NSFAS, be it they have been rejected or have not received any allowance, can go to SRC offices at their nearest campus to get help.
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