Over 50,000 sign petition for increased student allowance

Over 50,000 people – many of whom are university students – have signed a petition imploring South Africa’s Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to increase their monthly allowance, writes Benita Enoch for GroundUp.

They want the current allowance of ZAR1,500 (US$87) to be increased to R2,000 to accommodate the increasing cost of basic essentials like groceries and toiletries. Onthatile Mathonsi started the petition a week ago on “NSFAS students are currently receiving an allowance of R1,500 … This is not enough for students to meet their basic needs. We urge the Department of Higher Education to consider an increase of R500.”

Mathonsi, from Pretoria, is a second-year law student at the University of the Western Cape. She told GroundUp that she spends about R700 on her monthly groceries. She said her parents and family can’t help her financially so she solely relies on NSFAS every month. Though she qualifies for the additional R750 travel allowance as well, Mathonsi said it is not enough as many other students who don’t qualify have to use their living allowance on transport.
Full report on the GroundUp site