The department of higher education and training (DHET) has brought clarity to the matter of registration fees at universities and colleges, following President Jacob Zuma's announcement of free education at these institutions.
In a meeting with the Economic Freedom Fighters' student wing, the EFF Student Command, on Monday afternoon, deputy minister of higher education Buti Manamela assured students that those who have qualified for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) would be exempt from paying registration fees.
"[Registration fees] will be paid by NSFAS on their behalf. [However,] students who do not qualify for NSFAS funding will have to pay their registration or upfront fees before they can register," the department said in a statement.
"While applications for university spaces across the system closed in September 2018, some universities have set up mechanisms for late applications."– DHET
The DHET also said it would be working with the EFFSC and other student formations to root out "fake and fly-by-night institutions", and that more public education is needed on this matter.
"Remember we said we must remove all these fly-by-night colleges? They will be assisting us with that," EFFSC national chairperson Peter Keetse told HuffPost on Tuesday.
Manamela also reiterated that online applications remain the primary method of student applications, except for universities that have agreed to allow walk-in applications.
"While applications for university spaces across the system closed in September 2018, some universities have set up mechanisms for late applications," the department said.
It has recommended that prospective students who do not yet have a study space at a university register with the Central Applications Clearing House (CACH) to get assistance with finding space at an institution that still has places available.
Manamela will continue meeting with student formations this week to clarify matters related to the implementation of fee-free education.