Today Shadow Minister for Higher Education, Dr. Annelie Lotriet MP, and I accepted a petition from desperate students at Walter Sisulu University (WSU) in Mthatha with respect to the ongoing failure by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme to pay loans for students at the institution.
The academic year is almost over and still many students’ loans for 2012 have not been paid, leaving them stranded and facing the probability of financial exclusion in 2013.
We will take the petition forward to Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande, on the students’ behalf and request urgent intervention in this matter to prevent students from being financially excluded next year.
Further to this, we call on the Minister to release the forensic audit conducted by Price Waterhouse Coopers so that WSU can get back to the business of education.
The chaos at the University since it was put under administration in 2011 due to financial mismanagement, poor human resources practices and poor governance has led to ongoing strikes and violence, and tragically, the death of a 20 year old student. Our tertiary institutions should be beacons of hope and incubators of excellence, not graveyards for young South Africans.
With 3.2 million young South Africans unemployed, education should be considered a top priority.
Without a decent education the prospects for employment are reduced, relegating more young South Africans to the sidelines of society.
While the DA Youth welcomes the efforts of the Department thus far, their impact appears negligible. The DA Youth calls on the Minister of Higher Education, Dr. Blade Nzimande, to take further steps to stabilize this institution and restore order to the campus.
Maladministration and corruption at tertiary institutions are barriers to academic freedom for thousands of young South Africans. The youth of South Africa should not be held hostage by incompetent administrators and inefficient institutions that fail to deliver on their constitutional mandate.
Federal DA Youth Chairperson
072 118 8556
Shadow Minister for Higher Education
084 810 5907
National Youth Coordinator
072 232 0127