Home Article NSFAS is urged not to prosecute students who get excessive funding.

NSFAS is urged not to prosecute students who get excessive funding.


NSFAS Urged Not To Criminalise Unduly Funded Students

Recently, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme came under fire after it was discovered that money had been given to students who weren’t eligible; nevertheless, the scheme claims it is presently taking action against these individuals.

The issue was brought to light through an investigation led by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) who revealed that nearly R5 billion was distributed to around 40,000 unqualifying candidates.

According to the report, from 2018 to 2021, 40,044 students at 76 universities were ineligible for bursaries.

These students, according to the SIU, lied about their family’s financial situation in order to allegedly defraud the state by receiving financial aid for which they are not qualified.

Responding to the report, the South African Union of Students (SAUS) has raised concerns about the actions of the alleged students and affirmed that the rule of law and the integrity of the constitution should be upheld.

Yandisa Ndzoyiya, the president of SAUS, said that the organization welcomes and recognizes that action must be done against these students. The student union, however, is against the idea of using the repercussions to try and criminalize the students.

We are well aware that the findings of the SIU’s inquiry are mostly the result of a poor and working-class population’s inefficient and inadequate student funding paradigm.

“Therefore, as the union, our view is that, more than a question of corruption, this report is a symptom of an unrefined student funding model that continues to exclude children of the working class from opportunities, throwing them into spheres of ethical dilemmas and crime,” they continued.

According to Ndzoyiya, the money was not intended for waste but rather to give these youngsters access to a quality education.

According to the union, if there had been a funding scheme that supported students who had dropped out of middle school, they would not have been forced to use illegal means to pay for their further education.

“They committed an unlawful error which was meant to afford them an education that would afford them an honest living which would redeem them from the perilous clutches of poverty.”

According to the union, the steps for accountability should include recovering the money through a fair and advantageous payback plan for the students to the degree that they are able to afford it. This would be an alternative to bringing criminal action, it is said.

In addition, SAUS emphasized that the study should further compel the Department of Higher Education and Training to advance its efforts, as advised by the Ministerial Task Team, toward the creation of a thorough student funding model that will account for the underserved middle students.

Additionally, SAUS acknowledged that since last year, NSFAS has made investments in better systems to be able to identify some of these anomalies.

The bursary program currently collaborates with the Department of Home Affairs, the South African Revenue Service (SARS), and credit reporting agencies to ensure that students do not earn more than the required amount for their home.

Previous articleNoticing Early Signs Of Learner Disengagement Can Prevent Dropouts
Next articleHere Are TVET College Courses Where Matric Isn’t Needed


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here