‘NSFAS should hand over student payments to universities if it can’t execute its duty,’ says SASCO

todayNovember 7, 2023 19

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January 11, 2016. Student hold placard in protest of registration at Wits in Braamfontein Johannesburg. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA © Business Day

Students organisation, SASCO President Vezinhlanhla Simelane, says NSFAS must put the needs of its beneficiaries first.

The young student leader says if the student financial aid scheme can’t carry out its duties, it should rather give the responsibility of paying students to universities.

He made his remarks during an interview with YNews following reports that thousands of students have been going to bed hungry due to a delay in receiving their November allowances.

Simelane says they can no longer support a direct payment system that is causing students to suffer.
This is not the first time NSFAS’ ability to pay student allowances has come under scrutiny.
In August, several universities were rocked by a wave of protests, as students took to the streets to vent their frustrations and anger over the financial aid scheme’s new payment system that they claimed saw funds disappearing from their accounts.
Others said they had never received their monies at all.
Simelane says this issue remains a headache for some students. He says he knows of numerous cases where students allege that they still haven’t received their monies since the beginning of the year.
He says efforts to resolve the matter have so far failed.
“Students have complained to me, detailing this issue. I always try to help, by taking their details and contact NSFAS to get clarity. However, they say the students sometimes appear to be registered to two different universities, as that poses a challenge for them.”

Simelane says they are disappointed that thousands of beneficiaries are forced to write their exams on empty stomachs at various institutions, including the University of North West, the University of Venda, Durban University of Technology, and the University of Cape Town.


The student leader says the situation is dire and a solution needs to be found soon.



Written by: Nokwazi Qumbisa

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