In spite of a shortage of nurses‚ 700 nursing candidates will not be able to study for a four-year diploma at three Gauteng colleges this year — because the Gauteng Health Department cannot afford to fund their studies. "This is despite the fact that they were informed that they qualified for the course, but in December last year were told not to report to the colleges ‘until further notice’‚" DA MPL Jack Bloom said in a statement on Friday. According to department spokesperson Lesemang Matuka‚ the department cannot afford the R57m required to fund first-year students. As a result‚ the nursing colleges will only admit first-year students with external bursaries or those who can afford to pay the fees themselves. The three affected institutions are the Ann Latsky Nursing College‚ Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital and SG Lourens Nursing College. "This is a cruel blow to poor students who passed the selection process but are now left out in the cold with no other study options for this y...

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