The National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has warned that all students who are owing them will be blacklisted. Sizwe Nxasana, who is the NSFAS chairperson said this on thursday during a media briefing to outline their funding model for the year ahead.
“People who are unwilling to pay and are earning an income, we are simply going to follow the normal debt recovery process in a way which is a lot more robust and efficient,” Nxasana told journalists.
Speaking further to the journalists, Nxasana said that students still owed them up to R21bn in loans from which they are only able to recover about R200m. Nxasana said half this debt came from current students, while the other half came from beneficiaries in the job market.
“All loan recipients should be made aware of the importance of repayment. Whilst there have been challenges, at this point much more vigilant and diligent action will yield positive results,” he said.
Nxasana added that the fund recovery would now be based on the salary that was earned and this would be implemented once the salary was R30 000. This means that a beneficiary would pay R900 a year on a R30 000 salary, or R84 per month.
Through the campaign, NSFAS had collected R8.5m from 12 000 first-time payers, Nxasana’s introduction of the new strategy for campaign to recover the debt since October last year seems to be of good help.
Meanwhile, we were informed by the Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande that government has set aside the sum of R10bn for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, amid rumblings of a new wave of #feesmustfall protests with an additional R6.9b to support university education.
The NSFAS was allocated over 700m for full bursaries for scarce and critical skills from the current financial year. This funding was made available through the financial aid offices in universities. Students were therefore advised to enroll for science, maths, health sciences, and engineering courses.
On the other hand, about eleven fake colleges were reportedly shut down in Johannesburg since Monday 18th January, 2016. This was done in a bid to stop opportunistic business owners from preying on those desperate for an education.
According to the Higher Education Department spokesperson Khaye Nkwanyana, these illegal collages were robbing young people and leaving them with a fake qualifications at the end. Nkwanyana assured that more actions would be taken against these unqualified collages this year as it will help grow a better educational standard in the country.