Further Education and Training (FET) students not entitled to left-over transport allowance from bursary
27 May 2012Students at Further Education and Training Colleges who have been awarded a transport allowance as part of financial assistance by the Department of Higher Education and Training may under no circumstances claim any part of the allowance in cash or kind. Up to R6000 transport allowance per annum has been made available to eligible students in FET Colleges as part of financial support towards their studies.
In a number of FET Colleges around the country, students have embarked on protest action demanding to be given the unused amount in instances where transport costs for the year were less than the full allocated amount of R6 000.“The department has received numerous notices of student unrest and strikes in most FET Colleges, and we have noted that the main problem behind these strikes is the transport allowance issue,” DHET Director-General, Mr Gwebinkundla Qonde, said.
Mr Qonde said the department has offered guidelines to colleges and their stakeholders with regards to the administration and management of the allowance which is managed by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) as part of the bursary scheme. “The guidelines for the administration and management of the FET Colleges bursary scheme clearly indicate the types of bursary awards which colleges may make, which consist of awards for college fees, awards for transport and awards for accommodation.
It should be noted that the actual transport allowance that will be awarded to each student is likely to vary between zero and the maximum R6 000. That is meant for nothing else but transport, and could either be less or the full amount,” Mr Qonde said.
The guidelines state very clearly that all the amounts indicated for each award indicate maximum amounts that may be awarded towards transport costs, not what is due to the student’s pockets. Mr Qonde added that the Financial Aid scheme committees at Colleges could recommend alternate amounts that would not exceed the maximum amounts or be so low that the promotion of access to higher education and training is undervalued; or compromising on the quality of access and provision of comprehensive bursaries.
“The amount of the transport allowance will always differ according to the distance that each student has to travel from where they live to the college, but there is absolutely no change due to the student,” he said. The department has called upon Colleges to have reliable transport services for students to ensure regular and unhindered attendance of tuition.
Tel: 012 312 5555 / 5538
Fax1: 0865867047 / 012 323 5618
Cell: 076 883 4144
Issued by: Department of Higher Education and Training
27 May 2012
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