Nsfas could collapse soon.

NSFAS could collapse soon, the union is calling for urgent intervention. Image: NSFAS

NSFAS could collapse soon: Urgent call for intervention

The SA Union of Students (SAUS) warns of NSFAS collapse, urging immediate intervention due to concerning developments.

Nsfas could collapse soon.

NSFAS could collapse soon, the union is calling for urgent intervention. Image: NSFAS

In a concerning development, the SA Union of Students (SAUS), a union closely monitoring the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) warns of imminent collapse unless swift intervention occurs.

The situation has escalated since 2 September 2023. When the union first publicised the scheme’s failure to timely disburse student allowances for August.

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As of today, NSFAS has yet to open 2024 applications. Casting doubt on its readiness for the upcoming academic year.

When was NSFAS supposed to open 2024 applications?

“NSFAS was supposed to open 2024 applications on the 1st of October 2023 if late, and yet up until today the applications still haven’t been open and there is absolutely no sense or direction as to when these application will open,” said the Union in a statement.

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This delay poses a significant crisis for students. Also jeopardizing their academic progress and basic necessities.

Worse, thousands of students, predominantly from poor and working-class backgrounds, face dire circumstances due to delayed responses to appeals made in February 2023. Over 70 000 students still await allowances since May. Raising concerns about the scheme’s competence and its impact on vulnerable students.

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The union reveals that this failure jeopardizes the academic prospects of countless students, potentially leading to their exclusion and perpetuating a cycle of poverty.

The collapse is not solely operational; recent governance and executive conflicts within NSFAS have further heightened the crisis.

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Immediate actions the Minister must do

Urgent calls are made to the minister for immediate action. Including ensuring the opening of 2024 applications, resolving appeals, and stabilizing the organisation’s leadership within specified timeframes.

If these calls go unanswered, the union threatens to rally support from other student and civil organizations. To petition President Ramaphosa for the removal of the minister, emphasising the dire consequences of allowing NSFAS, a crucial educational lifeline, to crumble.