The protest comes two days after education minister Blade Nzimande announced that there was a shortfall in NSFAS funding which would affect first-time students.
Explaining the reasons behind the shortfall, the minister said problems the scheme grappled with were largely — though not exclusively — as a result of Covid-19.
Nzimande said the scheme was unable to confirm funding eligibility for the students at this stage, despite some institutions already forging ahead with registration and induction programmes
However, his deputy, Manamela, moved to assure the country that the department was committed to resolving funding issues which affected various institutions across the country.
“We are in contact with the university [and] the vice-chancellor. We are also trying to get hold of the student leadership so that the issues are resolved as speedily as possible,” he said.
“Yes, some of the issues relate to what we regard as national issues, but most of the issues that we browsed through are issues which both the leadership of the university and of the students can and should be able to sit around the table and resolve. We will give them the support they need.
“We will try our best to ensure that we give the institutions the support they need for them to resolve these issues.
“Also, we want to indicate that we remain committed to support all the institutions to conclude the registration process as speedily as possible, and where there are challenges, we will address them.”