Cape Town - Student organisations have welcomed the progress by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to provide students with laptops on Sunday.
The entity said it was expecting its first batch of laptops for NSFAS funded students who were registered at a public university and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges.
NSFAS chief corporate services officer, Sibongile Mncwabe said the announcement followed a mandate from Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande.
Mncwabe said since Nzimande's directive, NSFAS has gone into several consultations with stakeholders to ensure the successful roll-out of the process.
National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) general secretary Zola Saphetha encouraged NSFAS to work with institutions in relation to the laptop project and to fast-track the delivery of the gadgets to students.
Mncwabe said consultations with the university sector have neared completion allowing university NSFAS funded students to start ordering their devices through their portal.
He said they were speedily continuing with the TVET consultation to enable college NSFAS funded students to also submit their orders online.
“Non-NSFAS funded students who require a device should consult their institutions as they will remain responsible for the payment of the device and must therefore agree to the payment terms as defined by the institution,” said Mncwabe.
South African Union of Students (Saus) president Misheck Mugabe said the student union welcomed the new developments regarding the arrival of long-awaited laptops.
"We will be monitoring the situation to ensure that students do receive these devices as expected, and we wish our students well for the 2021 academic year," said Mugabe.
SA Students Congress (Sasco) spokesperson Luvuyo Barnes encouraged all NSFAS funded students to place orders immediately.
"Students should place their order as soon as possible to avoid delays."
Barnes said the student organisation was present in all institutions to monitor if the announcement by NSFAS was implemented, noting that it was over a year late.