Student accommodation : A Shack in Madalabara
The DA has written to the Minister of Higher Education, Dr Blade Nzimande, demanding swift accreditation of student accommodation across all institutions of higher learning.
This follows the DA’s hybrid oversight of informal settlements considered as “student accommodation” in Madalabara, Limpopo, where students studying at Letaba TVET College reside.
DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science, and Innovation,Karabo Khakhau stated that the oversight revealed that there are students living in shacks at Madalabara informal settlement. These students are NSFAS funded students.
“Not only does this go against the prescripts of the student accommodation policy, but it also contravenes NSFAS’ own funding and accreditation policy. Moreover, it is a cruel spit in the faces of helpless and poor students who depend on the State to fund safe and decent shelter for them while they strive to acquire education meant to secure them a job and ultimately lift them and their families from poverty,” said Khakhau.
Khakhau said that Minister Nzimande denied this during the portfolio committee on higher education, claiming there is no NSFAS and accommodation crisis.
However, NSFAS later informed the committee that 65.64% of student accommodation where its beneficiaries reside is unaccredited. Only 26,530 out of 77,209 NSFAS-funded student accommodations are verified for safe and decent dwelling by students.
“This then begs the question: How many more Madalabaras do we have across off-campus residences in the entire country, and why is NSFAS paying for students to live in shacks?” questioned Khakhau.