The National Student Financial Aid Program (NSFAS) will increase students’ living allowances by 10% for the 2023 academic year.
The increase will be retroactive to the beginning of the academic year, according to NSFAS spokesperson Maduvha Maseda.
“This follows the minister of higher education, science and innovation Blade Nzimande’s concurrence with the proposal that was put before him a few weeks ago.”
Nzimande convened the consultations, which included contributions from the South African Union of Students (SAUS).
“This is a significant development given the reality that in the past three years, no increment was made on student allowances. This is an effort not only to acknowledge the impact of inflation on students’ livelihood, but a contribution to ease the economic disadvantages suffered by students,” said Maseda.
The living and accommodation allowance triggered student protests earlier this month due to the high cost of housing on campus.
Wits and University of Johannesburg students flocked to the streets in solidarity of homeless students who were allegedly sleeping in libraries.
NSFAS had provided their students an R45,000 yearly accomodation allowance, which amounted to R4,500 per month for the ten-month academic year.
NSFAS will engage with universities in the coming week about the final dates for implementing the amendment.