'NSFAS failing the poor'

Ramphele says it's been a sad start to the academic year for several students.

AgangSA leader Mamphela Ramphele. Picture: Sapa.

CAPE TOWN - AgangSA leader Mamphela Ramphele says it has been a sad start to the academic year for many students who have been refused financial assistance.

Students at several institutions across the country have voiced their discontent over a shortage of funds from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

The NSFAS is a government loan and bursary fund that caters for students around the country.

Ramphele says the scheme is failing the poor.

"The agency has admitted it wasted money on students who didn't deserve to be supported and now it doesn't have the money to support the truly deserving students."

She says people who know how to manage finances should be put in charge of government's loan and bursary scheme.

This week, Parliament was told that one out of two students who qualified for funding from the scheme will not receive it due to a shortage of funds.