NSFAS 'dealing' with TVET college's student accommodation crisis

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) says it is concerned and alarmed that students from Ehlanzeni TVET College in Mpumalanga have had to sleep in public libraries and police stations.

The scheme's administrator, Dr Randall Carolissen was responding to reports and social media posts alleging that students from the Mapulaneng campus of the TVET College were kicked out of their private residential areas by landlords who demanded their rent which the students had not received from the scheme.

Carolissen explained that the scheme had paid an upfront allowance to institutions in the first disbursement run in February 2019. What's more, NSFAS is currently processing payments for top up allowance for the two months for private accommodation students.

"The scheme had previously engaged private accommodation service providers to explain the NSFAS allowance structure and the payment schedule and an agreement was reached that NSFAS funded students will not be required to pay deposit on accommodation," said Carolissen.

But, Carolissen said that in order for NSFAS to make accommodation payment accurate, registration declarations were required from colleges.

"Students from two campuses, including Mapulaneng were incomplete. As of this week, more than 130 students from the college received their allowances and NSFAS has engaged the Student Representative Council (SRC) and campus management in the current accommodation crisis."

Carolissen further emphasised the need for all private accommodation service providers to obtain institutional accreditation to ensure that the welfare of students remains a top priority. 

Carolissen promised that the scheme would resolve the current situation before the end of the week.