SRC considers using R1.3m donation to help NMU students

Students protested outside Nelson Mandela University on Monday due to a lack of funding for accommodation
NOWHERE TO GO: Students protested outside Nelson Mandela University on Monday due to a lack of funding for accommodation

The Nelson Mandela University (NMU) executive committee of Senate will meet on Wednesday as the Student Representative Council (SRC) considers how to use their R1.3m donation from the Motsepe Foundation to assist pupils without accommodation.

University management said it would give detailed feedback on the outcome of the meeting.

The engagements are as a result of several issues raised by NMU students which led to protest action outside the university’s south and north campuses on Monday. 

As a result, lectures were suspended until Thursday.

NMU spokesperson Zandile Mbabela said during these engagements, the SRC formally raised students’ concerns about funding support and student accommodation.

“University management is preparing a detailed response, which will be communicated in due course,” Mbabela said.

“The SRC, which recently received a R1.3m donation from the Motsepe Foundation, is also considering how to use this fund to assist where it can.

“Management also met with the National Student Financial Aid Scheme [NSFAS] on Tuesday to discuss funding shortfall issues, particularly for extended curriculum programme students whose funding does not cover accommodation and living allowances.”

Mbabela  added that the Strategic Resource Mobilisation and Advancement office, and the Office of Research Development, were working diligently to supplement funding for postgraduate studies in the medium and long term.

In the interim, lectures remain suspended.

“The university wishes to acknowledge the anxieties that the present circumstance may be causing both staff and students and assures them it is doing everything possible to address the concerns as soon as possible.

“Despite the delayed start to the academic year, plans are in place to ensure students do not miss out on any aspect of their study programmes. 

“This will be done through differentiated support interventions in accordance with programme requirements.

“The university appreciates the agility and resilience displayed at this time and looks forward to the full resumption of academic and other activities on campus,” Mbabela said.

More than 50 students had embarked on a protest on Monday due to them not receiving accommodation as a result of funding mishaps.

According to students who applied for the NMU Concessions Financial Aid, the fund had only paid for tuition fees, but after the Covid-19 lockdown was called off and in-person lectures resumed, they were left without accommodation.

Meanwhile, the NSFAS and Funza Lushaka bursaries had not been paid for their accommodation.



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