The Democratic Alliance (DA) has announced its intention to submit a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application to unveil the details of contracts awarded to landlords providing informal settlements, commonly referred to as “shacks,” designated as “student accommodation” in Madalabara, Limpopo.
This pertains specifically to the living arrangements of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)-funded students from the Letaba TVET College.
Despite evidence gathered during the DA’s hybrid oversight visit to the informal settlement and engagements with numerous students, NSFAS has allegedly attempted to deny these circumstances. The students residing in these conditions continue to endure what the DA describes as inhumane living conditions.
The PAIA application seeks to shed light on whether the Madalabara accommodations fall within the 65.64% of unaccredited accommodations, or if NSFAS accredited these living spaces, potentially allowing students to endure such conditions willfully.
The timing of this revelation underscores the challenges faced by students striving for higher education amidst the high cost of living. The DA criticizes NSFAS for what they perceive as a lack of effort in smoothing the path for students and ensuring humane living conditions.
The denial of these circumstances, according to the DA, highlights a lack of concern from Higher Education Minister Dr. Blade Nzimande and his Ministry regarding the well-being of students. The DA reiterates its commitment to advocating for the welfare of students, emphasizing their dedication to ensuring that no student is left behind in the pursuit of higher education.