NSFAS slammed over TV show

Students line up at a NSFAS office in Johannesburg.
Students line up at a NSFAS office in Johannesburg.
Image: Thulani Mbele

Students have slammed a new TV show by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), which will premier on SABC1 later this year. The show will feature 13 episodes, which will guide the youth from disadvantaged backgrounds on how to access student funding.

But some students felt that the scheme should first deal with issues that affect them.

A 21-year-old third-year LLB student at the University of Johannesburg said her application for funding was rejected last year despite proof she lost her parents.

"I appealed and they only responded in April. Since then, I haven't received books and accommodation allowances. I just want them to pay for my fees," she said.

Wits SRC president Sisanda Mbolekwa posted on her Twitter page: "We need you to go back to your lane. Students need their allowances, they need their appeal outcomes. They need you to pay their debt, not this nonsense. It's an insult to all students who rely on you to survive."

@mfazomnyama wrote: "... Others have no books nor food stipends. Yet there are seemingly funds for TV."

The scheme's spokesperson, Kagisho Mamabolo, said its projects and programmes were not run using allocation from students' funding.

"An administration funding is allocated by [national] treasury on an annual basis. NSFAS did not spend any funds as there were provided for by the partners who have opted to finance the whole production process of the show," Mamabolo said.

He said although the scheme receives a high number of applications which exceed 400,000 a year, most disadvantaged youth still lacked information on how to access funding.

"The show will be presented by current beneficiaries because we believe they will be in a better position to relate to our audience," Mamabolo said.

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