ESJF slams Pandor’s decision to halt Nsfas applications for 2019

Minister Naledi Pandor made the announcement last month, saying the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) needs to clear this year's financial aid backlog.

FILE: Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor briefs the press on discussions from the ANC NPC. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Education for Social Justice Foundation (ESJF) says the move by Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor to halt financial aid applications for the 2019 academic year is not a viable solution.

Pandor made the announcement last month, saying the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) needs to clear this year's financial aid backlog.

Thousands of students have not received funding due to incorrect information being shared between Nsfas and universities.

ESJF chairperson Hendrick Makaneta said: “The minister has not given us an indication of whether the closing date will be closed or not. We can already see that next year we will be facing more difficulties and we don’t believe that we should solve the current challenges by stopping students from applying.”

Last month, Higher Education and Training spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele said students will receive funding provided Nsfas sorts out the funding.

“Deserving students will get the money even if it means the department does not sleep. Come 2019, all the students who qualify for the funding will get the money.”