Student housing grant cap: Minister blames price gouging

Amid the uproar over the National Student Financial Aid Scheme’s (NSFAS’s) decision to cap accommodation allowances for students, Higher Education Minister Dr Blade Nzimande pointed to alleged price gouging from accommodation providers as reasoning for the allowance caps, writes Alinaswe Lusengo for the Daily Maverick.

He spoke about the matter on Thursday 23 February while addressing the National Assembly on the post-school education and training sector’s state of readiness for the academic year. Nzimande was speaking while protests and demonstrations at universities, triggered by the NSFAS accommodation allowance caps, as well as increasing financial burdens that students face, are ongoing.

He said: “In order to manage the unregulated, increasing cost of student accommodation, NSFAS has introduced a ZAR45,000 (US$2,400) per annum cap on student accommodation … NSFAS introduced this cap to manage profiteering and price collusion by private providers of accommodation. Currently, there is a challenge that we are aware of, of private and institutional accommodation that is above the ZAR45,000 cap. NSFAS is working with the affected institutions and is fast-tracking the accreditation of the affected areas.”
Full report on the Daily Maverick site