NSFAS must report back to Parliament in 2 weeks

Issued by Chantel King MP – DA Shadow Minister of Higher Education
07 Sep 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Chantel King MP.

The DA firmly supports Parliament’s decision for NSFAS to report back in two weeks regarding the ongoing problems affecting students, including issues with direct payment service providers, defunding, appeals, and accommodation accreditation. During the committee meeting yesterday, MPs expressed outrage over these problems, highlighting the adverse effects on students and their futures.

NSFAS admitted during the meeting that their new student-centered model has contributed to delays in funding, appeal processes, and defunding challenges. The DA has consistently voiced its displeasure and disappointment that these issues have not yet been resolved, and they have received numerous complaints from students whose funding concerns remain unaddressed by NSFAS.

Moreover, the DA’s stance has been vindicated by NSFAS’s acknowledgement that decentralising its administrative office would improve student access to services, an important step in addressing students’ needs more effectively.

In addition to these concerns, the DA emphasizes the urgent need for NSFAS to accelerate the accreditation of student accommodations. Shockingly, 62% of NSFAS-funded student accommodations across universities and TVET colleges remain unaccredited. NSFAS reported that out of 93 424 registered beds on its accommodation platform, only 21 903 have been accredited, leaving 36 541 accommodations paid for but not accredited.

This situation is particularly alarming as it affects students currently benefiting from NSFAS support, such as those at Letaba TVET College in Limpopo, who are residing in NSFAS-funded informal settlements in Madala Para, Tzaneen. The majority of students at the Tzaneen campus live in this area, emphasising the urgency of resolving the accreditation issue for their safety and well-being.

In conclusion, the DA strongly urges NSFAS to prioritise students and take immediate action to ensure the accreditation of student accommodations while addressing the broader systemic issues plaguing the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.

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