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DA Urges NSFAS Action on Student Funding and Accreditation



DA Urges NSFAS Action on Student Funding and Accreditation

DA Urges NSFAS Action on Student Funding and Accreditation.The DA Stands Firmly Behind NSFAS Reporting to Parliament in Two Weeks. The Democratic Alliance (DA) fully endorses Parliament’s directive for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to provide a comprehensive report within a fortnight.

DA Urges NSFAS Action on Student Funding and Accreditation

This report is expected to address the persisting challenges affecting students, including issues concerning direct payment service providers, defunding cases, appeals, and accommodation accreditation. During a recent committee meeting, Members of Parliament (MPs) expressed their dismay over these issues, highlighting the detrimental impact on students and their future prospects.

NSFAS Acknowledges Contributing Factors

In the aforementioned committee meeting, NSFAS acknowledged that their new student-centered model has been a contributing factor to the delays in funding disbursements, appeal processes, and the challenges associated with defunding. The DA has consistently expressed its dissatisfaction and disappointment that these issues have not yet been resolved, as they continue to receive numerous complaints from students whose funding concerns remain unaddressed by NSFAS.

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Furthermore, NSFAS concurred with the DA’s perspective, recognizing that decentralizing its administrative operations could enhance student access to services, a crucial step towards more effectively meeting students’ needs.

Accreditation of Student Accommodations: A Pressing Concern

In addition to the aforementioned concerns, the DA underscores the urgent necessity for NSFAS to expedite the accreditation of student accommodations. Shockingly, 62% of NSFAS-funded accommodations within universities and TVET colleges remain unaccredited. According to NSFAS reports, out of the 93,424 registered beds on its accommodation platform, only 21,903 have received accreditation. This leaves 36,541 accommodations paid for but lacking accreditation.

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This situation is particularly distressing as it directly impacts students currently benefiting from NSFAS support, such as those at Letaba TVET College in Limpopo. These students are residing in NSFAS-funded informal settlements in Madala Para, Tzaneen. The majority of students at the Tzaneen campus reside in this area, underscoring the urgency of resolving the accreditation issue for their safety and overall well-being.

A Plea for Immediate Action

The DA earnestly implores NSFAS to prioritize the well-being of students and to take swift action. This action should ensure the accreditation of student accommodations while simultaneously addressing the broader systemic issues that continue to plague the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.

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