Students funded by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) will now have a personal care allowance.

More than 800,000 students will benefit from the incidental or personal care needs.

NSFAS spokesperson Kagisho Mamabolo said students will  be provided with an amount of R275 for incidental or personal care.

“The introduction of the personal allowance came as a result of numerous engagements with various stakeholders and students on how the scheme could best assist in issues of personal necessities across universities, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges. This will be an additional amount which will be added to the current student allowances.”

Mamabolo said the aim was to provide funding to poor and working-class students.

NSFAS administrator Dr Randall Carolissen said that this allowance would cover some of the students’ toiletry and sanitary needs to ensure that they are always in class.

“Young women are often forced to miss classes due to lack of sanitary towels and this impacts on their educational outcomes as well,” Carolissen said.

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