University of Johannesburg owed over R1,5m by Department of military veterans

The University of Johannesburg.
The University of Johannesburg.
Image: Google

The University of Johannesburg says it is owed more than R1,5m in outstanding tuition fees by the department of military veterans.

The university said it has now received a final approved list of students who are funded by the department, but that 21 of the students were not on the list.

On Monday, Sowetan reported that at least four dependants of military veterans had been financially blocked from registering at university because of unpaid fees.

UJ spokesperson Herman Esterhuizen said the institution is owed approximately R1,512,000 by the department.

"This is the amount that shows in our system that the department still owes the institution.

"At the moment UJ has received a preliminary list of funded students from the department and those students have been allowed to register," he said.

"However, when UJ received the final approved list [that's allows UJ to claim funds from NSFAS], 21 of the students were not on the list. The department is still approving students who were in the 2019 preliminary list."

He said as the institution was also trying to help students where it can.

"Last year we managed to raise over R200m through the missing middle. We assisted about 8,000 students who did not qualify for National Student Financial Aid Scheme [NSFAS] and also those who could not qualify for bank loans. We helped pay their tuition and registration fees," Esterhuizen said.

Military veterans spokesperson Phumeza Dzuguda said the department is aware of the delays and several methods were being tested to remedy the situation.

"Students in private institutions have been paid via bulk payment arrangements.

"For this year, the department has made arrangements with some provincial departments of education to transfer funds and pay for the students directly.

"Students in public institutions will still be funded via NSFAS, while students in private institutions will be paid via bulk payment to their respective institutions as the department had done in the last academic year," Dzuguda said.

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