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SOUTH AFRICA: NSFAS IS NOW A CHANGED AND WELL-FUNCTIONING SCHEME – COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSON

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Cape Town, Parliament, 26 May 2020 – The Select Committee on Education, Technology, Sports, Arts and Culture has said it is satisfied with the proficiency and efficiency with which the NSFAS Administrator, Dr Randall Carolissen, has run the entity even during the Covid-19 distraction.

The committee welcomes the task team announced by the Minister on the weekend. The task team will investigate challenges associated with the move to the student-centred model at NSFAS in 2017.

The Chairperson of the committee, Mr Elleck Nchabeleng, said the intervention will enhance the work of the administrator and improve the service to poor students.

“Commendable work to stabilise the student financial aid scheme is being realised, and that has been demonstrated by how allowances are being distributed to students.

“The work that NSFAS is doing in support of the departmental objectives to increase the number of poor students in higher education at no cost is noted. More work needs to be done around a policy that will ensure access to the category of students who belong to the ‘missing middle’.

“Many students who still have not bought laptops must do so, especially those who have been paid the annual teaching assistance allowance of R5 200 to buy gadgets that will facilitate their learning during this challenging time.”

Mr Nchabeleng said NSFAS is now an entity where consequence management is prioritised. Certain employees and criminal syndicates that were operating within the student financial aid scheme have been reported to law enforcement agencies.

He said the committee will support NSFAS so that the entity does not regress from the progress that was realised during the administration period. “NSFAS is a changed and a well-functioning student financial aid scheme.”

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