Questions remain after NSFAS briefing 

Issued by Chantel King MP – DA Shadow Minister of Higher Education
08 Aug 2023 in News

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme’s (NSFAS) attempts yesterday to defend the new direct payment system failed to answer important questions about the disastrous roll which has left many students stranded.

To date questions still remain about the exorbitant fees students are charged to access their funds while a there is still no transparency about how the contract was awarded, including the stakeholder engagement that preceded implementation.

NSFAS board chairperson Ernest Khosa’s version of events came across as spin compared to the experiences of various student bodies and organisations and higher education institutions who claim that their concerns have simply been ignored.

It is also of little comfort to the students who still haven’t received their funds weeks into the new term and are facing eviction and hunger in many cases.

While the DA welcomes good governance and NSFAS funds being directed to solely to qualifying students, we have been inundated with students struggling with appeals, unable to verify their new accounts, and on-boarded students who are yet to be paid. While there are sure to be teething problems with the introduction of any new system, the cloud of suspicion surrounding this project cannot be ignored and until NSFAS provide satisfactory answers it will not dissipate.

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