NSFAS is funding more students in 2017

2017-05-03 20:20

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Cape Town – The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) patted itself on the back in Parliament on Wednesday, but admitted it still faced problems.

It funded about 463 000 students this academic year, compared to about 405 000 in 2016, NSFAS board chairperson Sizwe Nxasana told a joint meeting of the National Assembly's portfolio committee on higher education and training, and the National Council of Provinces' committee on education and training.

"This really goes to the credit of Parliament who voted for additional funding for students," he said. 

He warned, however, that more money was needed. 

There were late and unfunded applications for a further 42 440 students for the current academic year, for whom R1.8 billion was needed. 

"We hope the department will find the money. These are deserving students." 

Complaints from students included the capacity of NSFAS's call centre. 

"Sometimes payments to institutions - especially TVET colleges - don't reach students. Sometimes there is a delay getting allowances to students," he said.

They were busy solving some of the problems experienced between January and March.

Several MPs mentioned that they had received complaints from students.

"NSFAS is doing a good job under difficult circumstances," said ANC MP Elvis Siwela. When dealing with thousands of students, there were bound to be a few problems, he said. 

NFP MP Moses Khubisa said: "We must all be positive and say we appreciate the vigour with which the board is tackling funding."

ANC MP Charles Kekana warned that the perception had to be avoided that things must be set on fire to get results. He was referring to the violence on campuses during protests over the past two years. 

 

Read more on:    nsfas  |  education  |  university fees

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