The Chairperson of the residence sub-council, Lara Thom, was happy to share with PDBY that the fund has turned out to be successful. According to her, they are ahead of their schedule, and have since been able to make the first round of payments on 27 April. She says that they were able to assist approximately 98 residence students with a disbursement amount to the value of approximately R 47 000.
Thom explained that the second round of payments was processed over the weekend of 1 May, and states that “hopefully, this will aid around 150 residence students”. As of 3 May, the fund has assisted 265 students from 29 residences with a total of R121 000.
According to Thom, their ‘back-a-buddy’ initiative has also done well and that Professor Themba Mosia made a personal donation. “Successful applicants were personally notified through a WhatsApp business account, so that [they] could make it a bit more personal and so that [the students] knew that [they] were there for them and could ask follow up questions” she added.
One of the residence students that received assistance to the value of R400 from the fund, Lebogang Mokgalaka, a first year Bachelor of Education student and resident at Zinnia, told PDBY that she was able to buy food that will assist her and her family for at least a month. Lebogang advised her counterparts who applied for assistance to be patient, and further said that “patience is a virtue, [she] believes that everyone who needs assistance will be assisted”, “to the TuksRes Solidarity Fund, words are not enough to express [her] […] appreciation”.
On 1 May, the sub-council for residences issued a Question and Answer on the TuksRes Solidarity Fund as follows:
What is the process for approving students for funds?
Once an application has been successfully submitted through the provided Google Form, it gets exported to an Excel spreadsheet. Applications have been batched in order to simplify the processing of applications. All applications are viewed, considered, and noted. After the applications have been sorted, the individual student needs are measured against the availability of funds, while [they] also consider the fact that some students have recently received NSFAS assistance/pay-outs, and/or support from their bursaries. As soon as all these checks have been done, the list is sent for approval, after which a pay-out is made within a few days.
How much assistance is provided?
The maximum pay-out per approved student is R 800. Assistance is provided on a needs basis, and applications are read in full to try and determine an amount which would be able to assist the applicant. [They] therefore also rely on students’ integrity and honesty when submitting their applications.[They] are limited in the funds which [they] can distribute, and thus [they] assign as much money as [they] can, while keeping in mind that other students need assistance as well.
“They were able to assist approximately 98 residence students with a disbursement amount to the value of around R 47 000”
How will [students] know if [their] application was successful?
If you can expect a payment, you will be notified via your UP email. You will receive the payment into the account you indicated, and the reference will be TRSF. If you are unsuccessful, you will not be notified, as your application will remain on [their] records. [They] will continue to look for people who [they] can help with donations. This is an ongoing process.
Will [students] need to reapply for the fund if […] not successful?
You will not need to reapply. As indicated, all applications are kept on file with comments made.
Is there anything [students] can do to help with this process?
Any donations are welcomed, and [they] appreciate the support given. In order for [them] to help as many students as possible, [they] request that you communicate and share this initiative with those you think might be able to contribute. You can visit and share the official Back-a-Buddy fundraiser at https://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/tuksres-solidarity-fund.
Amogelang Motsepe, chairperson of House Hayani said, “this fund was created by the students for the students, but it was specifically established to aid students who really cannot afford [what they need] at this time.” Motsepe also added that her worry was that students themselves might want to take advantage of the initiative, “such as students applying even when there is no need for them to apply, but applying for the sake of abusing the system”. Motsepe pleaded with students to refrain from misusing the system, and to allow the disadvantaged and needy students an opportunity to get the much-needed assistance. Read more at https://pdby.co.za/solidaity-fund-established-to-aid-residence-students/