ANC clarifies student loan conversions

2011-01-10 14:43

 The ANC sought to clarify comments made by its spokesman today that the government might look into converting student loans obtained from banks or other institutions into bursaries.

“We wish to regret any confusion created by misinterpretation of what ANC national spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said during an interview with SAfm this morning,” read an ANC statement issued by Mthembu.

“What is clear is that the student loans conversion to a full bursary only refers to National Student Financial Aid Scheme and not student loans with banks.

“We none the less would like to reiterate what the national spokesperson said. He emphasised: ‘Only loans granted by the government facility – the National Student Financial Aid Scheme – will be converted to full bursaries’.”

Students registered at a public university in their final year of study who qualified for funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme would receive a loan to cover study fees and living expenses.

If students graduated at the end of the financial year, the loan would be converted into a bursary.

President Jacob Zuma announced this at his January 8 statement during the ANC’s 99th anniversary celebrations at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Saturday.

Mthembu said in the interview earlier that on a broader front, education, health and land reform would be made government priorities.

“It will be structured in the ANC lekgotla this year. I don’t know why people are saying what’s being said is not new.

These are new initiatives,” he said.

On jobs and social grants, Mthembu agreed there was a need for a social partnership between the government, labour and business. The government planned on following the New Growth Path, concentrating on various sectors of the economy.

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