BuzzSouthAfrica has confirmed that Unisa Staff decided to channel their 2016 bonuses towards the funding of education for the poor.
The management of the institution affirmed this, saying Unisa Staff forfeited the 2016 bonuses amounting to R10 million for deserving poor students.
Before now, the institution generated a contribution totaling R74.1 million to assist the 2016 National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding for undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Also, it generated another R11.4 million for the Unisa bursary.
All those have seen the institution gathering the total sum of R95.6 million in order to help the nation tackle the challenge of funding education.
Unisa’s vice chancellor, Prof. Mandla Makhanya, remarked that the good deeds were inspired by the need to alleviate the inclement conditions of SA students.
“We understand the demand by students for free education, but given the challenges that this worthy cause encompasses, and the reality that it cannot be achieved overnight, we thought it imperative to make our own contribution.”
Afterwards, he expressed hope for a permanent solution to the fees crisis be reached without denying poor students the chance to be educated.
The vice chancellor pointed out that there’s been a steady reduction in the number of students getting assistance from the NSFAS funding since 2014. That, he said, is worrisome considering the 7 percent increase in the number of students seeking assistance from the NSFAS loans.
Meanwhile, the Higher Education and Training Minister, Blade Nzimande, welcomed an initiative by a forum representing parents striving to end the violet protests across SA universities over the fees issue.
“We welcome initiatives aimed at bringing parents closer to the situation because as a department, we have been concerned that there isn’t a parental initiative,” said the Minister.
He added that education struggles have always been an alliance between students, workers and parents. “So, we welcome this initiative,” he stressed.
With that, he proclaimed that those parents who can afford to pay, must pay. “…the wealthy must pay,” he intoned.