Education Minister Blade Nzimande, two weeks ago made a commitment that education would be made more accessible for the poor, and the “missing middle”.
CapeTalk's Kieno Kammies speaks to Kagisho Mamabolo, NSFAS (National Student Financial Aid Scheme) spokesperson, to find out how will the scheme action this commitment.
Mamabolo says the Minister makes it clear that government continues to be committed to finding solutions to open access to higher education.
He says since the establishment of NSFAS their budget has been increasing every year. Through the scheme, Mamabolo says government has never let down students with poor backgrounds.
According to Mamabolo, NSFAS funded students will not incur any additional costs on tuition next year, meaning next year's budget increase will be able to fund new students.
NSFAS gets money to fund students from government and former students who are now working and repaying their loans, says Mamabolo.
As NSFAS we will be able to fund more students than we currently fund.— Kagisho Mamabolo, NSFAS spokesperson
NSFAS loan book has grown and the scheme is unable to help more students than they would ideally like to, says Mamabolo. This is as a result of students who received the loan and are now not repaying it.
We are standing nearly at 17 billion that can be recovered from those who are owing.— Kagisho Mamabolo, NSFAS spokesperson
This money can actually help us to continue paying for books, accommodation, transport and upfront registrations at the beginning of the year for our students...— Kagisho Mamabolo, NSFAS spokesperson
Listen to the full conversation below: