NSFAS beneficiaries call on Minister for swift allowance payment

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The South African Students’ Congress (SASCO) has called on the National Financial Assistance Scheme (NSFAS) to centralise its regional offices across the country. SASCO says this will help students who have problems or queries to go directly to their offices.

NSFAS beneficiaries are urging the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande, to take swift action over the delayed payment of allowances.

Briefing the media in Pretoria, Nzimande says the inability of the outgoing NSFAS board to carry out its basic functions was one of the main reasons for the dissolution of the board.

Following a march to the department, SASCO presented its memorandum of demands, and students have given NSFAS and Minister Nzimande until Monday to address their concerns.

Representatives from various institutions, including the University of Pretoria, University of Johannesburg, Tshwane University of Technology, University of Limpopo and TVET colleges, took part in the march.

Many students have not yet received their April allowances, leading to difficulties in buying food and paying rent.

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SASCO provincial secretary Siphosakhe Ngunze says they are determined to continue the fight until their demands are met.

“Everyone who was implicated in terms of corruption must be arrested because this is the state money and this is the money of taxpayers that actually gives back to the South African young people to make sure that they go up and they fulfill their own dreams. The Minister himself, we believe that the minister must resign.”

SASCO Gauteng Chairperson Yandiswa Mhlelembana calls for the removal of Minister Nzimande and the four Fintech firms involved in distributing allowances to students.

“The urgent implementation of structural reforms to ensure that NSFAS operates in a manner that prioritises the needs of students, number 3 it should be implemented that it does not affect the students at this moment we stand with the distribution of allowances that must be handed over to institutions with this stated Sasco further condemns the direct and forcefully eradication of student activism in our campuses.”

NSFAS Chief Operating Officer Errol Makhubela assured that they would address the issues promptly. “Well it’s good that they are raising their concerns and we received the memorandum, we have listened attentively to their demands that they’ve been raising and we’re going to be looking at them and processing and we shall respond as requested.”

The students emphasise that if their demands are not met by Monday, they will escalate their protest to the Union Buildings.

Blade Nzimande briefs media on placing NSFAS under administration and dissolving its Board