COSATU urges government to fix the crises affecting NSFAS

10 January 2024

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) urges government to fix the crises affecting the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).  The Federation is deeply concerned not only about the recent headlines surrounding NSFAS but the continuous delays that thousands of working-class students continuously experience in applying and receiving their funds.

This is a matter that the Federation has raised time and again.  It is not acceptable that poor students struggle to submit their applications and then wait for months to receive their fees and allowances.  These delays threaten the studies of students and the ability of universities to pay staff and operate.

The continued outsourcing of NSFAS’ payments to external service providers is at the heart of the crises affecting NSFAS.  This outsourcing not only introduces chaos and delays into payments but enables tenderpreneurs to pickpocket the state’s resources at the expense of working-class students.  It is time this outsourcing is ended.  Cabinet should instruct the Government Technical Advisory Centre to develop a road map to insource NSFAS payment systems and require the necessary checks and balances be put in place to ensure monies reach the students and universities they are intended for and not corrupt businesspersons.

The Federation supports the efforts by the NSFAS Board to address the crises, including the removal of the former Chief Executive Officer.  We welcome the assurances by the Minister, Dr. Blade Nzimande, that the fight against corruption will be expedited and that the state will not be deterred in this struggle.  It is critical that the Special Investigative Unit be given full authority to investigate any instances of corruption at NSFAS and those who have broken the law must face the consequences.  This is not a battle that cannot be win with kid gloves.

Issued by COSATU

For further information please contact:
Matthew Parks
Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687