News / South Africa

Sanele Gumada
1 minute read
30 Jan 2018
6:49 am

Varsity debt write-off?

Sanele Gumada

Sasco secretary-general Lwando Majiza said they had proposed that the existing Nsfas loans be converted to grants for each beneficiary.

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 Students Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) has made a commitment to the South African Students Congress (Sasco) to look into writing off the debts of students whose parents fall in the R122 000 to R350 000 annual household income range.

Sasco secretary-general Lwando Majiza said they had proposed that the existing Nsfas loans be converted to grants for each beneficiary.

This proposal comes in the wake of a meeting on Friday attended by Minister of Higher Education and Training Hlengiwe Mkhize, Nsfas and student bodies from universities and technical colleges on implementing free higher education for disadvantaged students.

Mkhize said: “Traditionally students who owed fees would be expected to pay 50% of their debt to the institutions. “We have been pleading with institutions, saying that nobody should be left behind.”

Sasco also called for students expelled during the #FeesMustFall protests to be allowed to return to study the institutions they were studying at.

This follows the commission of inquiry established by President Jacob Zuma on the implementation of free higher education for disadvantaged students.

Nsfas says it will not be reopening applications for 2018

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