Fears of exclusion as housing fund cap strands students

South African universities face being saddled with huge student debt as a new funding cap by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) threatens to exclude students from finding accommodation, writes Bulelwa Payi for IOL.

Accommodation at some universities costs between ZAR46,000 (US$2,500) and ZAR149,000 per annum, far more than the ZAR45,000 per annum offered by NSFAS for students approved for funding. Former ‘white’ universities including Stellenbosch, the University of Cape Town and the University of the Witwatersrand offer accommodation ranging between ZAR52,000 and ZAR149,000, excluding meals, and depending on size and location. Whereas in 2022 students were allowed by NSFAS to stay in residences that cost up to ZAR5,900 per month, the amount was decreased and capped at only ZAR45,000 across all universities in 2023.

Students fear this could lead to exclusions and another decrease in meal allowances could also see them face serious food insecurity.
Full report on the IOL site