The South African Union of Students has said that NSFAS is failing students and that the new bill has not managed to stabilise the institution.
NSFAS changing from a loan scheme to a bursary scheme in 2018 is said to not have been done using stable policies.
SAUS spokesperson, Thabo Shingange, said:
NSFAS is an institution. When students see NSFAS, they see an institution. Whether you came in yesterday, whether you come in tomorrow, that's secondary. What is at the forefront is that NSFAS, the institution, is failing.
He continued to say that they are constantly changing and constantly under administration but are failing students/.
Students are then lead to ask, 'is NSFAS fit for purpose?' and many don't have a positive answer.
As students all over South Africa protest for free education, government has said that institutions cannot afford to do this.
On free education, Shungange said:
The issue of free education must be dealth with independent of itself. We tend to nurse around this concept of free education and lose the part where we speak about NSFAS and NSFAS students alone. Some of these issues I would have hoped the department to be hear.
SAUS believes that within NSFAS there is a failure which is affecting students on the ground and they keep pointing at each other.
Minister Blade Nzimande has said the following when it comes to free education:
Government is firmly committed to implement the policy of fee free (fully subsidised) higher education support to students from working class and poor backgrounds, whilst also putting a sustainable mechanism in place to support students from the so-called 'missing middle' income bracket.
SAUS supports the protests happening nationwide as well as the national shutdown which they say will remain in place until their demands are met.
The #NationalShutdown will continue tomorrow until all our demands are met. NO RETREAT! NO SURRENDER! #feesmustfall2021 #freeeducationnow