South Africa 3.2.2018 09:00 am

Student applications for financial assistance are being evaluated

FILE PICTURE: Vaal University of Technology students prevent staff members from entering the campus, demanding  more money from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), 3 September 2014. NSFAS is a government student loan and bursary scheme. Some claim they have not received any funds for the past three months. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

FILE PICTURE: Vaal University of Technology students prevent staff members from entering the campus, demanding more money from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), 3 September 2014. NSFAS is a government student loan and bursary scheme. Some claim they have not received any funds for the past three months. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has assured university students that all applications for financial help are in the process of being evaluated.

Reacting to a report in The Citizen about students at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) sleeping in lecture halls, toilets and laboratories because they do not have accommodation, NSFAS spokesperson Kagisho Mamabolo said: “NSFAS cannot be involved in accommodation factors in academic institutions.

Our role is to make sure that funding is disbursed to the university to allow them to allocate accommodation space.”

Mamabolo added that NSFAS is not “overwhelmed” by applications and had expected to have a large volume of applications.

“We have already assessed these applications … and are currently communicating outcomes to all applicants.

“These outcomes are made upon confirmation of institutional admission offers.”

However, some student leaders at UJ have attacked NSFAS because delays in processing applications meant many students could not get access to accommodation.

The Secretary of the ANC Youth League at UJ, Makaula Madiba Ndiphiwe, said “the problem is not with the university; the problem is with the incompetence of NSFAS disadvantaging poor black students”.

He added: “I think the university is doing well so far, but the issue is with the department of higher education not putting pressure on NSFAS.”

The Department of Higher Education and Training’s spokesperson, Stanley Mkhize, said NSFAS is working hard now to ensure that students who qualified for financial aid have their issues sorted out by the end of the month.

Nsfas says it will not be reopening applications for 2018

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