MPs told about continued delays with NSFAS funding

A higher education and training portfolio committee’s analysis of upfront payment to universities and vocational colleges shows how delays in funding are still occurring.

FILE: National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) employees going through the application process. Picture: @myNSFAS/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is still facing a number of challenges as it struggles to pay students on time.

A higher education and training portfolio committee’s analysis of upfront payment to universities and vocational colleges shows how delays in funding are still occurring.

Thursday’s meeting of MPs, NSFAS, and tertiary education officials follows the recent resignation of the scheme’s chairperson Sizwe Nxasana who was appointed to help turn around the organisation three years ago.

Committee chairperson Connie September says funding challenges are making life difficult particularly for students living with disabilities.

She says special focus needs to be given to disability funding which has to be finalised in the first month of each academic year.

The main challenges raised by the committee are also related to the scheme’s IT system.

“Funding for students living with disabilities has to be fast-tracked who are most of the time - and our oversight does echo this - that are most of the time being forgotten. And that these students are not able to study without assistive devices and cannot be denied the right to fair chances of success.”

NSFAS says the appointment of an administrator to take over will place it in a better position going into the 2019 academic year.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)