No state funds are left dormant - NSFAS

2016-03-18 20:05

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Johannesburg – The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) said it would like to reject the misleading media reports and public comments about "wasted" and "unspent" funds for student bursaries.

NSFAS spokesperson Kagisho Mamabolo said: "We find these analyses to be very inaccurate and mischievous and thus creating a misconception.

"We can confirm that no state funds are left dormant. All the funds received through the Department of Higher Education and Training since 2011 were used accordingly at different times of the year," Mamabolo told News24.

Mamabolo said claims that there was unspent money created a misconception. "At the beginning of each year, we roll over funds to pay for students’ registration, accommodation, food, tuition, etc.

"There has never been a case where we return money back to our funders because it was not utilised," he said.

This was in response to the DA's claim that more than R650m of NSFAS had not been utilised for the current year ending in March.

The DA said it was revealed in a parliamentary reply to a question submitted by the DA, which details NSFAS amounts set aside for grants in the form of allocations.

"The continued inefficiency that has come to characterise NSFAS can no longer be tolerated. It has become clear that neither NSFAS nor the Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, grasp the seriousness of issues currently facing Higher Education in South Africa, or simply do not care for the needs of our students," the DA said.

In response, Mamabolo said all funding which was not utilised in a given year was rolled over to the following academic year.

#FeesMustFall was a student led protest movement that began in mid-October 2015 in response to an increase in fees at South African universities.

Protests started at the Wits University and spread to the University of Cape Town and Rhodes University, before rapidly spreading to other universities across the country.

President Jacob Zuma eventually declared that there would be a no fee increases in 2016.

Read more on:    da  |  nsfas  |  education  |  university protests

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