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DA calls for 'emergency fund' amid NSFAS woes

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has urged government to move decisively in resolving the problems faced by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

Naledi Pandor_gcis
Photo: GCIS

Thousands of students are in limbo on where their funding for tertiary studies will come from.


The financial aid scheme has halted all new applications for funding until the backlog in disbursing aid for 2017 and 2018 have been cleared.


The DA claims the embattled financier is on the brink of imploding.


"Something fundamental needs to be done, it's not going to be quick - it certainly not going to take a month or two, in the meantime students are going to be left high and dry," says the DA's Belinda Bozzoli.


The NSFAS board chairperson, Sizwe Nxasana resigned on Thursday evening.


ALSO READ: SAUS calls for NSFAS board to be dissolved


Bozzoli says former President Jacob Zuma's "bombshell announcement" of free higher education for certain students in the country - is set to further cripple the scheme.


The DA is now calling for an emergency fund following the government's "reckless" behaviour "which will cause lasting damage to our students, their Universities and the Higher Education system itself".


According to Bozzoli the fund will "allow Universities (to) give short term funds to students who sitting there in limbo."

Trade union, the National Education, Health & Allied Workers' Union has welcomed the resignation of Nxasana.


ALSO READ: Pandor: No 'shambles' at NSFAS


"It's a necessary step towards fixing NSFAS and helping it avoid being plunged into a further crisis of collapsing the scheme by those with no interest in serving poor students and the working class large," says general secretary Zola Saphetha.


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