Impending shutdown of universities over NSFAS delays

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Universities South Africa says the impending national shutdown of tertiary institutions by beneficiaries of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) poses a significant risk to both students and the institutions.

Frustrated NSFAS funded students are planning on halting operations at universities across the country, over the delayed payments of allowances.

They lay the blame squarely on controversial companies that have been appointed as middlemen to administer NSFAS on behalf of government.

Head of Universities South Africa’s Funding Strategy Group Professor Bismark Tyobeka, “We said under the circumstances while the legal issues are being sorted out, let the universities do the disbursements. Because we have done it before and now concerns were raised from the side of the minister and NSFAS itself to say that when universities were given a chance years ago, a lot of things happened bordering on criminal activities.”

Meanwhile, students of Vuselela TVET College in Potchefstroom in the North West took to the streets barricading the entrance to the college with burning tyres.

They say some of their issues such as NSFAS funding, shortage of textbooks, ageing infrastructure and outstanding certificates amongst others were never addressed. The current student representative council puts the blame squarely on the previous student committee.