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MBABANE – Desperate times call for desperate measures.

The adage rings true for some Swazi students who have been forced to fork out money from their own pockets to pay for their tertiary education in neighbouring South Africa, despite the fact that they signed an agreement to be sponsored by government.

The students had no option but to pay the money from their own pockets in order to secure the required study permits. This is because they cannot obtain the permit if they did not have the proof of payment for tertiary fees. It was gathered during separate interviews that government gave leeway to students to pay the fees and that they would be reimbursed at a later stage.

According to one of the students, the delay by government gave birth to a serious challenge as the South African High Commission demanded proof of payment in order for them to secure the study permits.


The student, who is an employee in one of the government hospitals and registered for a post graduate programme in one of the South African universities, was among those who went home disappointed after not getting a study permit at the South African High Commission.

“I applied for the study permit two weeks ago but today I have been told that I should come back tomorrow. This is disappointing because we were told that the permit takes seven days to be processed. This is stressing me as I have already spent a lot of money paying for my fees,” he said.

He stated that his other colleagues, who were also going to study under the same programme, had already left for South Africa and used a car that was provided by their employer.

“The fact that my colleagues are already gone means I will now have to fork out transport fee from my own pocket, since the employer cannot release another car just for me. It is bad because I have already spent all that I had to pay for tuition fees,” he said.

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