Northlink students picket for NSFAS payments

Protesters regroup after police disperse them

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Photo of protesters

Northlink College students protest in Bellville, Cape Town. Photo: Tariro Washinyira

About 40 students protesting outside Northlink College in Bellville, Cape Town, were dispersed by police on Friday. The students then regrouped and protested at the Bellville taxi rank.

In a statement on Thursday, the students said they were unhappy with management’s response to their memorandum of demands.

“Apprenticeship programme students and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) beneficiaries have had difficulties accessing their allowances and stipends. Students staying in private accommodation have been facing evictions since they have [been unable to pay rent] since December last year,” said the statement.

On 12 March, students threatened to shut down all Northlink campuses, demanding what they say are outstanding travel and food allowances.

At the taxi rank protest, a poster read: “Do we have to protest in order for our voices to be heard?”

Siphosethu Mngqbisa of Equal Education addressed them: “The institution should not be operating and continuing with academic activities as if everything is normal whereas we are on the streets protesting. We must intensify our struggle to ensure that Northlink College does not operate until our demands are met. All campuses of Northlink must shut down.”

Papama Mpupa, spokesperson at NSFAS, acknowledged receipt of our questions. We received an automated email from Northlink College. Responses will be added when received.

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TOPICS:  Tertiary Education

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