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DA: NSFAS plans to write off historic debt of those who can afford to pay

The party said it wrote to Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Blade Nzimande demanding an explanation about how the process would be handled.

National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) administrator, Dr Randall Carolissen. Picture: @myNSFAS/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Wednesday said it was concerned that the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) wanted to write off debt racked up by beneficiaries who could afford to re-pay their loans.

The DA said it had learned that Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Blade Nzimande intended to write off over R1.9 billion of historic debt from the scheme.

The party said it wrote to Nzimande demanding an explanation about how the process would be handled.

The DA’s spokesperson on higher education Belinda Bozzoli said NSFAS had failed to prove it had tried to collect the money.

“While the DA supports NSFAS writing off the historic debt of qualifying poor students who are currently studying, we cannot condone NSFAS writing off the historic debt of those who are able but unwilling to pay, and who may never have been forcefully required, by NSFAS, to pay,” Bozzoli said in a statement.

“NSFAS has never been any good at recovering monies owed to them, and this has led to a grave injustice. Individuals who obtained a good job after their graduation have simply been let off the hook, robbing current and future students of an opportunity to access higher education opportunities. They should have been compelled to honour their responsibilities,” she added.