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Fort Hare students demand aid scheme to cover all their costs

Classes were disrupted at the University of Fort Hare last week as disgruntled students embarked on another strike.
This time, students in East London want the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to pay for all their "schooling necessities".

Student Representative Council deputy president, Siphumle Ndlovu, said they demanded the scheme pay "for everything" - including their meals.

They also demanded the institution's chief financial officer address them on their demands.

"NSFAS must pay for everything. We want meals for bursary students and management must explain why fees at the residences differ," Ndlovu said.

Students were removed from classes yesterday while others marched, singing struggle songs in the corridors and dancing on tables.

When the Daily Dispatch arrived on the scene police, Buffalo City Metro police and traffic officers were on site keeping the students off the streets.

Ndimphiwe Toli, a second-year student, said he was in full support of the strike.

"I support this strike 100%. I will benefit from the outcome of this strike because some of us cannot afford books.

"We are all in this together and the other students had to get out of class to put pressure on management to act. This will ensure our demands are met quickly because they see there is no order at the institution," Toli said.

Nkosinathi Memani said it was important for all students to unite.

"We want to draw the attention of management. We cannot just sit and send them e-mails with our demands. Action speak louder than words," said Memani.

First year Bachelor of Arts student Johan van Heerden said his peers were exaggerating things.

"I do not support the strike. They are trying to make this (NSFAS) a bursary when in fact it is a student loan."

UFH spokesman Mawande Mrashula had not commented at the time of going to press.

Source: Daily Dispatch via I-Net Bridge


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