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By Zanele Mbengo

Journalist


Sasco calls for decentralising of Nsfas offices (VIDEO)

Sasco urges Nsfas decentralisation for direct student access, citing delayed payments and ineffective responses to queries.


The SA Students Congress (Sasco) has called on the National Financial Assistance Scheme (Nsfas) to decentralise its offices nationwide so students who have queries can go directly to its offices.

This after Higher Education and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande appointed Sithembiso Nomvalo as the administrator for Nsfas, while explaining the reasons for dissolving the Nsfas board.

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He said the board was discontinued because of its “inability to address very glaring and serious capacity issues, including the call centre, which is still not functional, by the way. And the constant inability to address student queries in a timely manner”.

Watch a recent protest by Sasco against Nsfas:

Nzimande said Nsfas had 12 months to establish significant changes, crucial for its reputation and the welfare of the students. Sasco secretary-general Alungile Kamtshe said Nsfas issues required more than the dissolution of the board.

“The institution has, for a long time, not been charging people for their corrupt actions, leading to irregularities within Nsfas,” he said.

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“There has been serious, ineffective internal control, coupled with leniency and condoning of mistakes by public officials.”

North-West University student Amahle Tshazi said one major problem with the current Nsfas regional offices was the lack of access to offices and delayed payments, or no payments at all.

“Decentralisation will make it easier for students to go directly to the offices, instead of calling, because sometimes we don’t get helped quickly,” said Tshazi.