MPs raise concerns over management of NSFAS, student financial support

The Higher Education Portfolio Committee was on Thursday briefed by the NSFAS board and management on its ailing system and failure to transfer funds.

FILE: Former NSFAS board chairperson Sizwe Nxasana. Picture: nsfas.org.za

CAPE TOWN - There appears to be no end in sight for struggling students as the ailing National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) fails to pay tens of thousands of students.

The Higher Education Portfolio Committee was on Thursday briefed by the NSFAS board and management on its ailing system and failure to transfer funds.

Yesterday’s meeting of MPs, NSFAS, and tertiary education officials followed the recent resignation of the scheme’s chairperson, Sizwe Nxasana.

Nxasana was appointed three years ago to turn around the organisation.

Committee chairperson, Connie September, says that MPs can only conclude that thousands of students still don’t have their allowances halfway through the academic year.

She has also raised concerns about ineligible students getting money earmarked for qualifying students.

"How on earth is it possible that in 2018, there's money that has gone to the wrong people... our R14 million lady is still getting money and how did we arrive at the decision that that can still continue."

It looks like it will be another challenging academic year in 2019 as the struggling NSFAS tries to get its act together.

It will now be up to an administrator, which will be appointed, to try to turnaround the scheme.