With a Covid-19-hit, shrinking economy and a mounting public debt burden, finance minister Tito Mboweni announced a tight budget in February, including a constrained allocation to the department of higher education and training.

Within the department’s budget the allocation to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) was set to increase from R34.8bn in the 2020/2021 fiscal year to R36.4bn in 2023/2024 — a cumulative increase in nominal terms of 4.6% over the three year period. This allocation covers Nsfas bursaries to university students and students at technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges...

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