Mandibulele Sihlalo, Sekela Mphathiswa ndiyathemba ukuba njengoko engekho apha uMphathiswa ukwindawo zamaziko emfundo uye kujonga imeko yabafundi phaya.
TVET students get a below average allowance. They get R24 000 for accommodation and food in comparison to up to R50 000 for universities just for accommodation alone, which is double the amount of money.
They get up to R7 000 for transport whereas universities get up to R10 000. They stay in the same off campus accommodations. They transport using the same transport, costing the same amount of money. They consume food at the very same supermarkets. Deputy Minister, I do not think it is fair that these students are treated this way. Why is that TVET allowances can't be standardised in line with funding for university students, so as to mitigate the gap between them whereas they reside at the same space, they commute in the same transport and they eat food from the same retailers.
Port Elizabeth TVET College students eat with Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, NMMU, students. If you go Tshwane, they eat with Tshwane University of Technology, TUT, and the University of Pretoria students. I think it is not fair, I do not know why they cannot do that, if you can answer that. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND
TECHNOLOGY: House Chair, I think the first thing that we must illustrate is that, with regards to universities there is a basis to determine the amount of money that must go into accommodation and into most of the other allowances. For instance, for a student at NMMU who stays in a private residence, the university or the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, does not pay more than what the university charges for that student if they were to stay in a formal university residence.
However, for a TVET college where most of the TVET colleges are not necessarily residential campuses, therefore there is basis to determine the amount. That is why there is a distinction, not only in terms of the allowances that students get at TVET colleges but also in terms of where they are located. Students in urban settings will get a higher amount in terms in terms of their accommodation compared to students in peri-rural and in rural settings. That is why there is that distinction.
As I said that ideally, we would want all the students to get the same in terms of all the allowances that they get from the NSFAS. We have only just started allocating allowances to students in TVET colleges and I think that, that is important. Secondly, we cover more than 85% of students in TVET colleges. So, of the 100 students who go to TVET colleges, 85 of those are getting funding from NSFAS.
Last year alone, of the 750 000 or so students who went to TVET colleges, 85% of those received allowances from the NSFAS. Although it is ideal, it is going to be constraint on the national fiscus and we are hoping that with time, we will be able to give students in TVET colleges the same allowances as we are giving to students in universities.