EFFSC, DASO demand Nzimande be held accountable for NSFAS instability

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The Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command (EFFSC) is calling on Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande, to urgently address what it says is the irregular appointment of four service providers responsible for distributing National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) allowances.

The EFF is responding to the minister’s decision to dissolve the NSFAS board.

Nzimande says the decision is part of interventions meant to improve the organisational efficiency of the student scheme.

Students’ general dissatisfaction with the distribution of funds has prompted the shutdown of public education institutions nationwide this morning.

EFFSC’s Sihle Lonzi elaborates. “I’m on my way from the University of Zululand where students have been sleeping outside, where students have not received their allowances because of NSFAS. So, the minister must stop tiptoeing (around) issues and deal with the irregular appointments of the four service providers.”

DA calls for Nzimande’s resignation

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance Students Organisation (DASO) is calling for Nzimande’s immediate resignation, saying he’s not doing enough to protect the interests of students.

Spokesperson Leonard Malesa highlights the students’ difficulties.

“Imagine a student the whole year without book allowance, without food allowances – now you are being responded to around September to say your appeal is approved or rejected. That shows that NSFAS was not prepared. We had 20 000 students this year who were not paid the allowances from 2023. It also shows that NSFAS and the department do not have the capacity to handle issues that students are facing.”